Qatari Fund ‘Sama Global’ Negotiates Investment in Marina d’Or

6 February 2019 – Expansión

Jesús Ger, the founder and owner of the Marina d’Or holiday city, is looking again at the Arab countries to find an investor with whom to consolidate his business project. And in that respect, all indications are that the Qatari investment fund Sama Global Investment is going to become the new financial partner of Marina d’Or.

Ger’s group, which has promoted and which manages the popular holiday city located in Oropesa del Mar (Castellón), has been actively looking to incorporate partners for years, especially since the end of the real estate bubble paralysed its investments in other countries and threatened the continuity of its property development business.

The business includes the Marina d’Or Golf project, which was the largest urban development plan undertaken by the Community of Valencia spanning a surface area of 18 million m2, which was suspended by the courts and due to a lack of funds. Initially, Ger was looking for capital willing to finance part of the colossal €6 billion investment forecast for the macro-urbanisation around the themed golf course and hotel.

In 2015, it was even understood that the Chinese group Wanda was going to acquire a majority stake in the Castellón-based group after reports were published to that effect by an official news outlet of the Chinese Communist Party. The truth was that, although Marina d’Or maintained contact with several Chinese investors, Wanda was not one of them.

Focus on the tourist business

Now, however, the interest of the Qatari fund is focused on Hoteles Marina d’Or, the company that manages the tourist activity in the Castellón resort and which includes seven establishments – two outside of the complex -, the rental of tourist apartments and the operation of the restaurant area, the spa and the attraction parks in the holiday city. In recent years, those activities have generated revenues of more than €40 million per year and, unlike the real estate business, they are still profitable.

The interest from Sama Global, which dates back to 2017, appears to focus on replicating the holiday city model in other international markets. In fact, the fund, which is headquartered in Doha, has already closed its first operation to become a partner in a property developer and operator in the Philippines, Premiere Horizon Alliance Corporation, which is listed in Manila (…).

Official sources from Marina d’Or acknowledged yesterday that conversations are being held with a Qatari fund, but they said that they are still in an initial phase and are not close to completion yet (…).

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Costa Bellver Starts Work on its 1,000-Home Macro-Project in Oropesa

10 July 2018 – Eje Prime

The starting gun has been fired on the Calabuig family’s project in Oropesa del Mar (Castellón). The Valencian businessman Eugenio Calabuig (pictured below) has requested the first building permit for the construction of the first 56 homes in the macro-project comprising 1,000 homes in total and one hotel that his company, Costa Bellver, is planning to build in the seaside town.

The first occupancy licence is being processed, as it awaits the green light from the Town Hall. In Torre Bellver, close to Les Platgetes de Bellver, the Calabuig family are looking to increase the prime residential market, according to València Plaza.

Not in vain, Costa Bellver is keen to attract a new kind of buyer with a high purchasing power. In addition to the 1,000 homes, the company is going to build a luxury hotel to accommodate the large number of tourists who visit the area during the holiday period.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco Santander Puts Hotel Koral up for Auction

6 December 2017 – Levante EMV

Banco Santander has put Hotel Koral, located on the beachfront in Oropesa del Mar, up for auction for €7 million. The establishment has 210 rooms and a swimming pool. The auction is open until 11 December.

The bank took ownership of the property as the result of a debt that it had granted to the previous owners, amounting to €2,127,677. Moreover, the property has another charge over it in the form of an unpaid loan amounting to €700,000 from Cajamar, according to sources close to the operation. The investor that offers the highest bid will acquire the property free of charges. All of the information about the bid is available on the BOE’s auction website.

The electronic auction opened on 21 November. The value of the auction is €7,082,465 and interested parties must pay a deposit of €354,123. According to information provided yesterday on the BOE’s auction website, no bid has yet been formalised for the property.

The building is located on the new promenade in the Tosalet de Oropesa area. The hotel is a ten-minute walk from the centre of Oropesa. The establishment offers 210 rooms with views of the sea or the pool, which is located in a garden area with sun beds and parasols.

The bank has put the property on the market at a time when there is a great deal of investor interest in hotels. Hotel profitability has grown by 32.5% in Valencia due to the strength of international tourism and the recovery in domestic consumption, according to a report by the consultancy firms STR and Magma Hospitality Consulting.

The growth in hotel profitability in the Community of Valencia is much higher than in Madrid (18.6 %), Málaga (15.38 %), Barcelona (14.6%), Marbella (14.5 %) or Sevilla (14.4 %). The strong performance in terms of profitability is being seen despite competition from tourist apartments, which are being marketed through online platforms such as Airbnb.

The barometer from STR and Magma HC is based on data from 145,000 rooms in more than 800 hotels located all over Spain. Data corresponding to the first half of 2017 shows a very positive trend with double-digit growth for the main indicators in key destinations and a general upward trend in terms of average revenues per available room (RevPAR) and in the average price per occupied room.

The good context for divesting has led other banks to follow the same path. Banco Sabadell has just sold its hotel manager HI Partners for €0.63 billion to the US fund Blackstone. That operation included a portfolio of fourteen hotels worth almost €0.7 billion, including the Abba Acteón in València and the Melià Villaitana in Benidorm (…).

Original story: Levante EMV (by Ramón Ferrando)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Marina d’Or – A Future Without Apartments?

22 August 2016 – Expansión

The voice of a child saying “Marina d’Or, how cool” has become one of the unmistakable signs of summer. Jesús Ger, the founder and owner of the popular Marina d’Or complex in Oropesa del Mar (Castellón) is still using the same advert year after year, however his business nowadays is very different from the real estate giant whose name used to be synonymous with holiday apartments for most Spaniards.

Today, Marina d’Or is trying to shake off any association with real estate to convey an image of a pure tourism company. Ger launched this strategy during the years of the financial crisis, when he undertook a major restructuring of his companies with one clear purpose: to build a firewall to prevent the real estate fire from spreading to his holiday city.

The holding company is now divided into four main companies. On the one hand, Hoteles Marina d’Or, the company that operates the five hotels, eight amusement parks and some of the catering establishments and other services at the complex in Oropesa. This company is also responsible for the resort’s marketing campaigns and runs the rental of holiday homes, although many of those are now owned by the banks that financed them.

The excellent evolution of the tourist industry has given Hoteles Marina d’Or a break, such that it is now enjoying high occupancy rates this summer. Sources at the group explain that turnover in July exceeded the amount recorded during the same month last year. Nevertheless, the figures and returns from this business, with revenues of €38 million and profit of €600,000 last year, are well below the €450 million invoiced by the holding in its heyday.

Legal obstacles

The asset that was going to be the great jewel in the group’s crown for the next two decades, Marina d’Or Golf, the urban macro-plan measuring 18 million m2, a few kilometres away from the coast in Oropesa, was transferred to another company, Promociones PAI Gold. This project, which has been on hold for years, has been revived in the media from time to time when potential investors express interest in the facilities.

This last happened at the end of 2015, when a Chinese newspaper reported that Wanda was planning to invest €1,200 million. (…). Sources at the Castellón-based group say that the search for partners continues, but it is a very slow and discrete process. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A.)

Translation: Carmel Drake