Sabadell Earns €35M From the Sale of its Last 11 Hotels

15 May 2018 – La Vanguardia

Banco Sabadell has definitively completed its divestment from the hotel business by selling off the last of the establishments that did not form part of the package acquired by Blackstone last year. Overall, the bank chaired by Josep Oliu has recorded income of around €35 million from the sale of 11 medium-sized establishments in different parts of Spain. The last one to be sold is the Barceló Estepona, which has been acquired by Hotusa.

In that case, the financial entity has sold the ownership of the property in which the hotel is located. In the majority of cases, the establishments were managed by a specialist company. All of the hotels were left over from the real estate crisis. Sabadell ended up taking ownership of them in recent years in lieu of payments for the debts that their owners had taken out and which they could not repay. In other cases, they were the direct result of mortgage foreclosures for non-payment.

In recent months, the bank led by Jaume Guardiola has been considering several alternatives for its hotel portfolio, including a possible stock market debut. In the end, the entity opted to sell most of the assets owned by the company HI Partners to Blackstone last year. The 11 establishments that were left out of that operation are the ones that have just been sold. In the operation with Blackstone, the bank obtained gains (extraordinary profits) of €55 million from proceeds of €630.7 million. In that deal, it sold establishments such as the ME Sitges Terramar, the Hilton Sa Torre in Mallorca and the Axel Hotel in Madrid to the international fund.

In addition to the Barceló Estepona, the bank has also just divested the following hotels: Barcelona Gate, Margas Golf, Cunit and La Selva. Most of the establishments sold in this final phase were not beachfront properties, nor were they large. Other properties sold recently include the Asta Regia Hotel Jerez de la Frontera acquired by Hotusa, the Aparthotel Augusta in Boí Taüll bought by Kesse Invest, the Balt Hotel Spa in Gijón purchased by Artiem, the Barceló Oviedo acquired by Barceló and the AC Lleida bought by AA Hoteles.

In parallel, the bank is continuing with the process to divest a large proportion of its non-hotel real estate assets that also resulted from the real estate crisis, including those inherited from the now extinct entity CAM. The bank has launched the sale of toxic assets amounting to €10.8 billion through a number of separate operations. It is a significant amount with respect to the €13.5 billion in assets that the bank had registered on its balance sheet at the end of last year.

The CEO Jaume Guardiola also announced last month during the presentation of the entity’s quarterly results that the entity is analysing the future of its real estate subsidiary Solvia. “When there is an opportunity to create value”, it will be sold, explained the director (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Eduardo Magallón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco Sabadell Sells 5 Hotels for c. €20M

27 January 2018 – La Vanguardia

Banco Sabadell is continuing to divest its hotel business with the sale of five establishments in recent weeks for a total consideration of almost €20 million, according to market sources. The move comes after the entity sold its hotel management platform HI Partners to the US fund Blackstone for €630.7 million in October.

When it announced that sale, the entity reported that the transaction comprised 14 large and superior category hotels, including the ME Sitges Terramar, the Hilton Sa Torre in Mallorca and the Axel Hotel in Madrid. The bank reported that another 11 smaller hotels had been left out given that they did not fit the profile of the operation. But five of them have been sold by Sabadell in recent weeks, specifically: the Asta Regia Hotel in Jerez de la Frontera acquired by Hotusa; the Aparthotel Augusta in Boí Taüll acquired by Kesse Invest; the Bal Hotel Spa de Gijón purchased by Artiem; the Barceló Oviedo bought by Barceló; and the AC Lleida purchased by AA Hoteles.

Naturally, what Sabadell is selling is the ownership of the property. In most cases, these hotels were managed by other specialist companies. The hotels expanded Sabadell’s real estate portfolio during the economic crisis after their owners offered them to the entity as a way of paying the financial debt that they had contracted. They may also have resulted from foreclosures. The entity chaired by Josep Oliu and led by Jaime Guardiola (pictured above) worked with different scenarios to make its investments profitable, including debuting the company that was managing the hotels on the stock market. However, the appearance of Blackstone’s offer tipped the balance towards the sale. According to a statement filed with the CNMV, the bank obtained profits (extraordinary profits) of €55 million from the divestment.

The hotel manager does not form part of the bank’s business and a specific division had only been constructed to manage the foreclosed assets in the best way. The establishments that have now been sold are not beachfront or large properties, although some are located in purely tourist areas such as the case of the Aparthotel in Boi Taüll, which is situated in the closest urbanisation to the Llerida ski resort.

In the case of the sale of the 5 small hotels, the bank declined to disclose the amount of the sale although market sources indicate that the total transaction consideration amounts to around €20 million. Sabadell plans to continue with the divestment of the 6 remaining hotels over the next few weeks.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco Sabadell Sells its Hotel in Boí Taüll Ski Resort

13 December 2017 – Crónica Global

This December, Banco Sabadell has completed the sale of Aparthotel Augusta, an establishment located in the Catalan ski resort of Boí Taüll. The operation has been advised by the international consultancy firm Christie & Co and has been closed for €1.5 million, according to sources in the sector.

The buyer is the Kesse Invest group, a company specialising in managing mountain tourism experiences (…).

Start of the ski season

Aparthotel Augusta is a four-star establishment containing 39 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It offers additional services such as a 1,200 m2 Spa and an outdoor swimming pool, two features that differentiate it from other accommodation options in the area, according to the same sources.

The transaction has been closed just after the start of the ski season in Boí Taüll, which opened on 1 December. The Catalan ski resort owned by the Nozar group expects a repeat of the good performance recorded last year, the best for a decade, with a 40% increase in turnover and 20% more skiers.

These figures are encouraging the Nozaleda brothers, the managers of the ski resort, to try and negotiate with the Generalitat to obtain an extension of the concession granted to them by the public company Actius de Muntanya, which runs until 2023. That process has not been started yet due to the on-going political situation in Cataluña, which first started in the summer and which has led to the calling of elections on 21 December.

Sabadell’s hotel divestment

Banco Sabadell, which has declined to confirm the details of this transaction, indicates that the deal forms part of its strategy to divest its hotel business. After selling its HI Partners division to Blackstone for €630 million (at a profit of €55 million) on 17 October, it was left with 11 (hotel) assets on its balance sheet, which it holds through the company HI Holdco Gestión Activa.

In addition to the establishment in Boí Taüll, a month ago, the bank sold a hotel it used to manage in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) to Hotusa – the hotel in question was the 4-star Eurostars Asta Regia.

Original story: Crónica Global (by Cristina Farrés)

Translation: Carmel Drake