Barceló Group to Sell Hotel and Land on Mallorca

12 December 2019 – The Barceló hospitality group is considering the sale of a 1,200-hectare property it owns on Mallorca. The asset includes a 127-room hotel in a prime area of the island. Market sources say that Barceló has already received an offer of more than 100 million euros for the asset. The buyer of the property, which includes the Formentor hotel, will likely convert the asset into a luxury wellness resort, specialising in thalassotherapy (the therapeutic use of seawater).

Barceló acquired the complex in 2006 for 70 million euros from the Buades family and the Costa y Llobera Foundation. Since then, while occupancy has risen, the hotel has been plagued by problems with seasonality. The resort is often full in the summer but closes from the end of October until the beginning of April due to a lack of demand.

Original Story: Ultima Hora – J. L. Ruiz Collado

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

CBRE: Hotel Investment in the Balearics Doubled in 2018 to c. €1bn

26 March 2019 – Preferente

According to data compiled by CBRE, 47 transactions were closed in the hotel market in the Balearic Islands in 2018, corresponding to a total investment volume of more than €967 million. That figure accounted for 20% of the capital invested in Spain during the year and 32 of the transactions were concentrated in Mallorca, followed by Ibiza with 11 operations and Menorca with just 4.

Most of the operations involved hotel portfolios although two individual asset sales stand out due to their high prices per room: Hospes Maricel & Spa (as part of the Hospes Portfolio) and Belmond La Residencia. Both are 5-star establishments.

Palma (de Mallorca) maintained its position as an attractive urban tourist destination, with the addition of seven new hotel establishments comprising 275 rooms during 2018 alone.

More than 10.3 million visitors travelled to the Balearic Islands during 2018, up by 2.3% YoY, breaking the record the fourth year in a row. Nevertheless, the number of overnight stays fell slightly to 59.3 million (down by 0.4% YoY). Meanwhile, the ADR of the hotels on the islands broke the €100 barrier to reach €104.10 in 2018, up by 5.5% compared to 2017. In addition, RevPAR rose by 3.5% YoY to €80.10.

Original story: Preferente (by R.P.)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Chinese Overtake the Germans in Hotel Investments in Mallorca

21 March 2019 – El Cierre Digital

Since 2014, when a large Chinese company, Jiangsu GPRO, acquired the historical Valparaíso Palace hotel in Mallorca, interest from Chinese investors and tourists in the Balearic Island has soared.

Until then, some Chinese people had moved to live on the island but they had done so to create small businesses, above all in the Pere Grarau district, to form a small community of almost 4,500.

Since GPRO’s purchase of Valparaíso Palace, Chinese business people have been investing more in the island; the Balearic Government has been promoting different areas as backdrops for Chinese films; and now, plans are afoot for direct flights to begin between China and Palma de Mallorca with a layover in Barcelona or Valencia. The intention is to increase the holiday offering for Chinese tourists in the Balearic Islands.

Chinese companies are also interested in investing in the Par Bit technological park just north of Palma. They are committed to improving their image in the region and creating jobs.

Turespaña forecasts that by 2025, China will be the country with most tourists travelling the world, with around 220 million per year.

Original story: El Cierre Digital (by David González)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Apple Leisure Group Debuts in Spain with its Purchase of a Majority Stake in Alua Hotels

23 January 2019 – Revista 80 Días

The US group is one of the largest managers of accommodation in the Caribbean. This purchase allows it to enter the vacation segment and the European market.

Apple Leisure Group (ALG), one of the largest hotel investors in the USA, has acquired a majority stake in the share capital of Alua Hotels and Resorts, the hotel group founded in 2015 by its main executives and the private equity fund Alchemy Partners. The amount of the purchase has not been revealed, although the joint operating result of the chain’s main hotels amounted to €6 million in 2017. Given that the properties are located in areas with high tourist demand and good forecasts, the amount of the operation could have exceeded €40 million, based on the multiples that are typically used for this type of transaction.

With this acquisition, ALG is entering the European market through the sun and beach holiday segment. And it is doing so in a country such as Spain, which receives more than 80 million tourists per year in search of that kind of offer. Alua Hotels has 11 hotels located in Mallorca, Ibiza, Fuerteventura and Tenerife, together with an apartment building in Ibiza.

In total, ALG will manage more than 3,000 4-star hotel rooms, focused on the type of tourist who wants a superior service to that usually found in the average accommodation establishments in beach areas. The US company is planning to undertake more acquisitions in the European market and has announced that it wants to become a reference player in the main destinations in the Mediterranean (…).

Apple Leisure Group is one of the most important investment conglomerates in tourism in the USA. It used to be owned by the investment fund Bain Capital (…), which sold it in 2017 to the funds KSL Capital Partners and KKR for an undisclosed sum. (…). According to data from the conglomerate, it manages 14 brands and handles more than 3.2 million passengers per year (…). Its turnover exceeds USD 3 billion per year (…).

Original story: Revista 80 Días 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Taylor Wimpey to Invest €70M in 8 Developments in 2019

22 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Taylor Wimpey is setting out its roadmap for 2019. The Spanish subsidiary of the British real estate group is going to launch eight developments with an initial investment of €71 million during the course of this year, according to comments made by Javier Ballester, the CEO of the company, speak to Eje Prime.

The company is planning to build between 350 and 400 homes in several parts of the country. Specifically, Taylor Wimpey has opted for areas where it already has a presence, namely: the Costa del Sol, Alicante, Mallorca and Ibiza. Moreover, according to the executive, “it is possible that, if we obtain the building permits in 2019, the group will launch three more developments, one in Marbella and two more in Mallorca”.

Taylor Wimpey is whereby reaffirming its commitment to the Spanish second home market, where it has been operating for more than seventy years. In fact, the company is currently one of the main property developers in the country that is building assets on beach fronts and overlooking golf courses,

In 2018, the company handed over 342 homes, 14% more than in 2017. It is currently marketing four developments in Alicante, in the municipalities of Torrevieja, Villajoyosa and Elche (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Berta Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Reuben Brothers Buy 5 Plots of Land in Mallorca

4 January 2019 – Eje Prime

The Reuben brothers are continuing to invest in Spain. The British billionaire businessmen Simon and David Reuben have purchased five plots of land in Manacor (Mallorca). The price of the operation is not known nor is the identity of the former owner.

The plots are located close to the house and tennis academy of Rafael Nadal and include 1.5 kilometres of beach, a natural lake and several caves, according to Voz Pópuli. The Reuben brothers will be able to build on their new plots, although parts of them are protected.

With this new operation, the Reuben Brothers are increasing their commitment to the Spanish real estate sector. Just a month ago, the group submitted the highest bid to acquire Santander’s Ciudad Financiera in Madrid.

The investment manager also has assets in sectors such as luxury real estate, including the Portosole Sanremo marina in Italy and the British racetrack company Arena Racing Company. The Reuben brothers’ fortune amounts to more than USD 14.2 billion (€12.4 billion), according to Forbes, which places them in 75th position in the ranking of the richest people in the world.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Proa Capital Sells Hospital de Llevant to Caser

15 November 2018 – Expansión

Proa Capital is stepping on the sales accelerator in 2018. The private equity manager has completed its fourth divestment of the year: Hospital de Llevant. According to financial sources, the fund – which exerted control over the asset with 70% of the share capital – and the other minority shareholders have sold the medical centre to Caser. The insurance group is strengthening its network of own hospitals through this acquisition.

Market calculations indicate that the transaction valued the company at around €30 million, which represents around 10 times its forecast EBITDA for this year of c. €3 million. The centre’s revenues amount to around €20 million.

Proa became the owner of the centre located in Mallorca in 2013. At that time, Hospital de Llevant targeted the care market for the elderly, focusing particularly on residents from overseas. Since then, Proa – in partnership with the management team, some of whom are also shareholders – has promoted the hospital aspect of the centre. The fund announced that it had completed its mission a few months ago and that it, therefore, considered that it was time to exit.

Now, in an industrial investor, it has found the appropriate replacement owner. For Caser, the purchase fits with the group’s objectives, which a decade ago committed to building a network of own centres for its hospital division as part of its diversification strategy.

Hospital de Llevant will thereby be incorporated into a group that already comprises five other centres, located on the Canary Islands and in Extremadura, and which operate under the brand Hospitales Parque, according to information from Caser. The insurance company also has a section specialising in geriatrics, Caser Residencial, through which it operates 16 nursing homes for the elderly.

Accounting to the sources, the intention is for the current directors of the hospital in Mallorca to continue to lead the centre, which currently employs a workforce of 170 and offers 140 beds, split into equal parts between hospital care and care for the elderly. It also has three operating theatres and an intensive care unit.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Ponce de León)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Balearic Government Approves Construction of 500 New Homes in Palma’s Son Ferragut Urbanisation

17 October 2018 – Última Hora

On Wednesday, the Balearic Government will approve the construction of the urbanisation of Son Ferragut and will allow the development of 550 homes, as well as the opening of Salvador Hedilla park and of all the local roads. The urbanisation project was approved in 2002, but the economic crisis resulted in the suspension of the construction work in 2007 and it was not resumed again until 2014. During that time, there were some changes in ownership: the site went from being owned by Son Dameto Ibercor into the hands of Sa Nostra and is now owned by Sareb (the bad bank).

The Councillor for Town Planning, José Hila, explained that after the approval by the Government, the property developers will be notified about the agreement; next, the reception certificate will be signed and Cort will be able to take charge of the maintenance of the roads and amenities. Nevertheless, the councillor said that the maintenance of the green space will be performed by the conservation entity that is going to be constituted for that purpose, until 50% of the planned buildings have been constructed. Hila believes that the bad bank will have no problems selling this land and highlights the importance of increasing the stock of housing in Palma by 500 units. Nevertheless, he clarified that none of the homes will be public because the legislation did not require that in 2002.

The Son Ferragut plot spans 110,000 m2, of which 31,000 m2 may be used for new homes, with a buildability of 78,000 m2. The forecast is for 500 homes to be built, with one area for multi-family homes, comprising a ground floor and four above-ground storeys, and another area for single-family homes; a maximum of 1,646 people will be able to live on the site. The remaining 79,000 m2 will be decided into several plots, which may house different facilities: one for education (a plot has been ceded to the Government for a school), one for sport (there is a sports centre, which will be opened once the services are provided) and a free public green space spanning 10,000 m2.

Original story: Última Hora (by A. Mateos)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Most Expensive Property in Palma de Mallorca is up for Sale

7 September 2018 – Majorca Daily Bulletin

Villa Solitaire in Son Vida, Palma is said to be the most expensive property in Spain. It is on the market with the John Taylor real estate agency for €65 million.

The villa was designed by the Italian Matteo Thun. It has outstanding views over Palma Bay. At €65 million, it is a lot more expensive than two other properties in Mallorca that have been highlighted previously because of their high prices – a mansion in Bonaire, Alcudia and a country estate with a house in Puigpunyent. Villa Solitaire beats the former by some €30 million.

There are seven bedrooms in the property, which occupies a surface area of 2,300 square metres. Six bathrooms, a rooftop terrace with open-air cinema, gymnasium, parking for six cars, a botanical garden, a lift; these are just some of the other features. The interior is designed in harmony with the Mediterranean environment and the exterior’s natural spaces. Everything is of the highest possible quality. At €65 million euros, that should be taken as a given.

Original story: Majorca Daily Bulletin

Translation: Carmel Drake

A Private Healthcare Tycoon Buys Can Oleza for €10 Million

19 August 2018

The Asturian millionaire and developer Víctor Madera finalised the transaction last month, returning the property to Spanish hands. Madera is acquiring ruined palaces and castles throughout the country and already owns six estates in Menorca.

The historic manor in Palma Can Oleza is changing hands. Moreover, it is doing so for millions of euros. The Spanish private healthcare magnate Víctor Madera, the Quirón Group’s non-executive president for hospitals, has acquired the property for approximately 10 million euros, as El Mundo/El Día de Baleares learned from sources familiar with the operation. The purchase agreement was finalised at the beginning of July in the Balearic capital and constitutes the acquisition of one of the last of the city’s iconic buildings.

Secrecy has been high for one of the year’s most important real estate transactions in the Balearic Islands. Negotiations were conducted very discretely, and the transaction has returned the ownership of Palma to Spanish hands after it was acquired by Swedish investors in 2013. At the time, those investors paid about six million for the property and have now sold it for a 50% markup, a fairly good return on their investment.

Sources in the premium Mallorcan real estate sector were not surprised. Mr Madera has been acquiring ruined palaces and castles throughout Spain in recent months. The Baleares were not left out of his investment strategy. Last spring brought the news that the wealthy entrepreneur and developer from Oviedo had acquired six important estates in Menorca in the last year.

Now it seems like it is Mallorca’s turn. Can Oleza, foreign-owned since 2013, when it was sold to a Swedish investor by the Oleza family, which had owned the manor since the seventeenth century – is located on Morey Street and was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1973. It received development protections when it was declared to be an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) and received additional protections from Patrimonio three years later.

Thus, the movable assets, which are also of great value, also benefited from the measure, since they have remained largely intact to date. The modification by Patrimonio affected the decoration of the building’s main rooms, which enjoy special protection. The reason for this is simple. Can Oleza was declared a national monument, obliging authorities to grant the maximum level of protection to the property.

What has not been revealed, at least so far, are the Asturian developer’s intentions for the property. Some sources referred to the possibility of developing a high-end boutique hotel on the site, although the current regulations would make that difficult.

What is known is that Víctor Madera has been attempting to restore the forgotten jewels of Spanish architecture. His passion for rebuilding ruined palaces has a long history and has been a well-known fact for years in Asturias. People there first began hearing about Paisajes Asturias S.L. (Asturian Landscapes), one of Madera’s real estate companies. With a social capital of 53.69 million euros, it is specialised in rescuing ruined, iconic buildings and converting them into hotels.

Original Story: El Mundo – Hugo Sáenz

Photo: Jordi Avellà

Translation: Richard Turner