14 October 2015 – El Confidencial
Hispania now has its own flagship building in Azca. The financial heart of Madrid has been one of the main battlegrounds for the large real estate companies in recent months, and their appetite means that there are now barely any opportunities left in the area. Nevertheless, the Socimi led by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio has managed to find a way in. (…).
The company has taken advantage of the voluntary bankruptcy filed in February by Leading Hospitality, owner of the Holiday Inn Bernabéu Hotel in Madrid and the Maza Hotel in Zaragoza, to take control of the company and, as a result, take over the reins of the only four-star hotel in Azca.
In reality, this transaction confers the Socimi ownership of just 52% of the establishment, since that is the stake held by Leading Hospitality in the property that houses the hotel. However, it has taken over 100% of the management of the property, which signed a 25-year franchise contract with IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group), an agreement that is still valid.
By sheer coincidence, the former owner of Leading Hospitality and the man who purchased the Holiday Inn Bernabéu, is an old acquaintance of Azora, the management company of Hispania. He is César Losada, the hotel businessman who also created the fund Losan Hotels World, now called Carey Value Added, which had the backing of the savings banks through Ahorro Corporación.
This investment vehicle ended up owning 14 hotels and 2,000 rooms, spread across the world’s main capital cities. The operation of these establishments was granted to brands such as Marriot, Steigenberger, NH Hoteles, Hotusa and Barceló. But the plans did not evolve as expected and in 2011, Azora received a mandate from Ahorro Corporación to take over the management of Carey and restructure it. (…).
Since its creation, Hispania has been clearly focused on the hotel sector and, in fact, it was a pioneer in the market with the creation of Bay, the first 100% hotel Socimi, which it launched together with Barceló back in February.
But, the entity managed by Azora also has its own hotel portfolio that sits outside of this vehicle; in fact, the first operation that it closed following its debut was the purchase of Hotel Guadalmina, another well known name in the tourism market, which it acquired through the back door and, on this occasion, by purchasing its debt.
That was only the starting point. Hispania is now the owner of NH Pacífico and NH San Sebastián de los Reyes in Madrid, Hotel Hesperia in Las Ramblas, in Barcelona, Gran Hotel Bahía Real and the Suite Hotel Atlantis Resort in Fuerteventura, Meliá Jardines del Teide in Tenerife, and Vincci Málaga.
In total, hotels account for 31% of the gross value of the Socimi’s asset portfolio; another 45% relate to offices and the remaining 24% relates to homes. Hispania’s hotel activity generated revenues of €3.25 million during the first half of this year. In total, the Socimi has 1,439 rooms, plus more than 300 rooms in the Holiday Inn Bernabéu and 6,097 rooms in the Bay portfolio.
Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake