Room Mate Prepares To Enter Holiday Hotel Segment

18 October 2016 – Expansión

Room Mate Hotels, the hotel chain chaired by Enrique Sarasola (pictured above), is preparing to enter the vacation hotel segment and has set itself the goal of having 2,000 rooms in a number of hotels along the coast by 2020.

Specifically, the group founded in 2005, which already has a presence in twelve cities and six countries, plans to inaugurate this new line of business next summer. To that end, the chain is currently analysing different projects and studying operations in the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cataluña, Costa del Sol and Riviera Maya (México).

“We have taken this decision after listening to requests from our customers, who have been asking us for a long time now to take our philosophy and creativity to beach destinations”, explained Sarasola.

The Director said that the group currently has around fifteen projects on the table at various phases of analysis to determine whether they fit with its standards. “The company is being refinanced. This step forms part of our strategy to grow through turnkey projects”, he added.

The chain signed a €54 million refinancing agreement with Citigroup at the end of last year. Half of that figure will be used to pay off debt and the remainder will be used to finance growth.

The Chairman of Room Mate considers that this move is an important step in the company’s plans: “We want to take the essence of Room Mate to exclusive vacation destinations, specifically: excellent locations, superb design…and innovative concepts”.

In this way, the group’s new beach front destinations will include a wide range of leisure facilities, bars, restaurants, beach clubs and terraces, said Sarasola. “In some locations, we will opt for all inclusive formats, in others we will place the emphasis on the music or on the leisure facilities”, he said.

According to the company’s forecasts, Room Mate will close 2016 will operating revenues of €72 million, which represents an increase of 36% with respect to 2015 (€52.9 million). In the first eight months of this year alone, the hotel chain recorded revenues of €44 million.

Room Mate’s properties will close the year with an occupancy rate of more than 87%, whislt the RevPar (revenues per available room) will amount to €133.42, up by 14% compared to last year.

Room Mate Hotels has more than 1,500 rooms in 23 hotels and plans to open another eight establishments over the next few months.

Sarasola said that the chain has achieved record results in all of its destinations this summer, with the exception of Istanbul, which has suffered as a result of the terrorist attacks. “We are not planning to abandon the destination. We are not going to allow terrorism to change our plans”, he said.

Renovation

In Spain, the Director encourages the Public Administrations to help the sector to renovate the hotel stock…to position Spain as the “Florida of Europe”. He also acknowledged that the lack of Government “is not good for the industry”.

The Executive recently strengthened his commitment to Room Mate by buying an additional 20% stake in the hotel chain that he founded more than ten years ago; he now controls 70% of the share capital. The remaining 30% is held by Sandra Ortega Mera, through the company Rosp Corunna.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sarasola Increases Stake In Room Mate To 70%

7 July 2016 – Expansión

The President of Room Mate, Enrique Sarasola, has purchased an additional 20% stake in the hotel chain that he founded in 2003, allowing him to take control of 70% of the share capital. The remaining 30% is held by Sandra Ortega, through the company Rosp Corunna.

Specifically, Sarasola has signed a contract, through his company Tafay 2000, to acquire the 14% stake controlled by Basphon Investment and the 6% stake held by Berbaz Familiar. Basphon Investment, a company owned by Pedro Agustín del Castillo, President of Binter Canarias, acquired its stake in Room Mate in 2009; meanwhile Berbaz Familiar, an investment vehicle owned by the Sanzol family, has been a shareholder since 2004.

This change allows the company to address its business plan for 2015-2019 with a more stable shareholder base, who are more focused on the “day to day” running of the company, explains Sarasola. The President of Room Mate and Bemate.com says that Basphon and Berbaz were “more financial” investors, who have identified an opportunity to exit the company and achieve a good return.

Forecasts

The Director considers that this movement is yet another example of his confidence in the company and he highlights the results achieved in recent years. Based on the company’s forecasts, Room Mate will close 2016 with a turnover of €68.3 million, which represents an increase of 22% with respect to 2015. The hotel chain generated revenues of €25.7 million during the first five months of the year, 48% more than in 2015.

Room Mate’s hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of 85.8% during the five months to May 2016, whilst its RevPar (revenues per available room) amounted to €127.30, 13.3% higher than during the same period last year.

Room Mate Hotels owns more than 1,500 rooms, has a presence in six countries and twelve cities and will open eight new hotels over the next ten months. In 2016, 65% of Room Mate’s revenues will be generated overseas.

Sarasola predicts that this summer will “break all records” and he highlights the strong performance of domestic tourism. In any case, the Director emphasises the need (for Spain) to form a new Government and he expressed his “concern regarding the Ministry of Tourism because since the Minister left, it has not been operating with the necessary degree of transparency”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake