20 November 2018 – El Confidencial
The finishing touches still need to be agreed but the parties have already shaken hands. The Mexican millionaire Allen Sanginés-Krause has just surprised the Spanish hotel sector by signing the purchase of the luxury hotel Villa Magna for a whopping €210 million, according to confirmation from sources familiar with the transaction. In reality, the vehicle that is finalising the acquisition is the Mexican Socimi specialising in Caribbean resorts, RLH Properties, of which the banker is President and a major shareholder.
Hotel Villa Magna was put up for sale in hurry just a few months ago, after its current owners, the Turkish emporium owned by the Sahenk family, was forced to divest several of its real estate assets around the world to complete the refinancing of its holding company, which was affected by the collapse of the Turkish lira. The process, which has been entrusted to JLL, has progressed in the fast lane, with several other Latin American magnates invited to bid.
Although the final completion of the deal is pending several details, the price exceeds all expectations. RLH Properties is going to acquire Villa Magna at a ratio of €1.4 million per room (the hotel has 150), a figure never achieved before in the Spanish market, according to hotel experts. The profitability of an investment such as this is beyond the magnitude that the real estate funds manage, taking into account that there are five-star hotels available in Madrid from €300 per room.
The buyer has thrown the chequebook to acquire this trophy property. Besides money, it has experience as a manager of hotel assets for luxury brands such as Four Seasons, Rosewood and Fairmont. In fact, it completed one of its closest acquisitions with OHL, from which it purchased its Mayakoba Caribbean complex (a resort with a golf course in the Riviera Maya) in two phases (between 2016-2018), for which it paid €470 million in total.
Sanginés-Krause’s relationship with the Spanish world transcends the sphere of business. His name was in the news a few months ago after it was revealed that he had hosted King Juan Carlos at his castle in Ireland. That private visit came to the attention of the press and it was discovered that the monarch was accompanied during his stay by his Mallorcan friend Marta Gayá. The meeting shows the degree of confidence that the emeritus has with the Mexican banker (former of Goldman Sachs and now head of BK Partners).
If this investment goes ahead, the list of Mexican companies taking roots in Spain will continue to grow. The second-to-last major operation saw the acquisition of Grupo VIPS by the restaurant holding company Alsea, which paid almost €500 million to acquire the company founded by Plácido Arango and his family. And based on the rate of purchases, it will not be the last big deal to star money proceeding from Mexico.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Carlos Hernanz)
Translation: Carmel Drake