Caja Madrid’s Former HQ Is Up For Sale

5 November 2015 – Cinco Días

The former headquarters of the Caja Madrid is up for sale. La Fundación Montemadrid has engaged Irea to search for a buyer for the historical building, located a short distance from the Puerta del Sol in Madrid.

La Fundación Montemadrid, formerly known as ‘Fundación Obra Social y Monte de Piedad de Madrid’, plans to sell the whole property, excluding the premises where Monte de Piedad undertakes its activity, which will be made independent from the rest of the building. In total, the property has a surface area of 25,000 m2, which maybe used as a hotel, retail or office space.

Sources in the market consider that it is likely that the building will be converted into a “luxury five-star” hotel, which may also include some retail space.

If the building is converted into a hotel, then it would be highly coveted by international operators, at a time when Spain is under the spotlight thanks to the decision by Four Seasons to operate the hotel in the Canalejas Complex, and the purchase of the Ritz by Mandarin and Olayan. Meanwhile, in the Plaza Mayor, the Portuguese group Pestana is planning to open a five-star hotel in the Casa de la Carnicería.

Domestic and international investors, both hotel chains and investment funds have already expressed their interest in the property, which could represent the gateway into Madrid for franchises such as Hyatt, Kempinski, Hilton, W and Shangri-La. The future hotel would have around 200 rooms, as well as terrace space measuring 3,000 m2, one of which would be on the roof, with panoramic views of the city. The price of the property could exceed €100 million, and the buyer would also have to factor in the cost of the refurbishment.

No architectural protection

One of the features of the property is the lack of architectural protection, with the exception of the baroque doorway that overlooks the Plaza de las Descalzas. This makes the building a unique opportunity in the centre of the capital, according to market sources, vis-à-vis the Canalejas project, which is being developed by Villar Mir, whose construction has been unblocked this week by the courts, and Edificio España, acquired by the Chinese group Wanda, which had requested permission to dismantle the protected façade of that building brick by brick, to then rebuild it. That request was rejected by the Local Historical Heritage Commission of Madrid. Market sources believe that the operation could be closed by the end of this year or the beginning of 2016, and that the property, if it does end up being converted into a hotel, would open its doors in 2018, after the Four Seasons.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

BlueBay Signs JV With Nadhmi Auchi To Operate Hotel Miguel Angel

18 September 2015 – Cinco Días

The Madrilenian Hotel Miguel Angel is going to be operated by a prestigious player once more, but not one that has a significant international presence. The hotel chain BlueBay will manage the property from now on, after it reached an agreement with the owner, the Iraqui born Briton Nadhmi Auchi, who has been running the hotel since December 2013, when Occidental Hoteles departed, whereby putting an end to its operations in Spain.

All of the international hotel chains have had their eyes on Hotel Miguel Angel, amongst others, since the Four Seasons announced its arrival in Madrid, in the Canalejas complex, and Mandarin announced its acquisition of the Ritz. In the end, the Spanish firm BlueBay, owned by investor Jamal Satli Iglesias, will take over the management of the property, which has 267 rooms, under an agreement that will involve the creation of a joint venture between BlueBay and Nadhmi Auchi. Together, they will invest around €35 million on the refurbishment. The renovation will be completed over the next few months and will involve the creation of new facilities and the expansion of the gastronomic offer, according to the chain, which aims to convert the hotel into “one of the most emblematic luxury, 5-star establishments in the city and in Spain”, said the CEO of BlueBay, Joaquín Janer.

This operation is BlueBay’s first foray into Madrid – traditionally, the company has a strong presences in the holiday hotel market, but not in the city hotel segment – it owns one 3-star hotel in Barcelona and two hotels in Mérida (one 5-star and one 4-star). BlueBay’s portfolio contains 52 properties across 27 locations. It will soon add eight more assets as a result of its international expansion, which will take place in the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. In April, it announced its expansion into Morocco and it plans to start constructing four hotels in Brazil this quarter.

In Spain, BlueBay is also working to open two other properties, in Marbella and Estepona, in 2018, which will require an investment of around €100 million. The chain, founded in 1976, operates six brands, including the urban specialist BlueCity. The brand used to be owned by Marsans, but following that company’s bankruptcy in December 2009, the businessman Jamal Satli Iglesias acquired it from Posibilitum, in an operation that included the management of 11 hotels. Satli Iglesias also holds a stake in Málaga Football Club, through which he has a dispute pending with its chairman, Abdullah Al Thani.

Renovation of Madrid’s luxury hotels

The refurbishment of Miguel Angel will represent a new boost for the 5-star segment in the capital, following the arrival of Four Seasons, which resulted in a “pull effect” in Madrid for other major international operators. During this time, Mandarin joined forces with the Olayan Group to purchase the Ritz. Despite this, the city’s hotel market is still missing companies such as Hyatt, Kempiski, Hilton, W and Shangri-La, although the details of the Wanda group’s plans for its hotel project at Edificio España have not yet been revealed. One of the most tempting properties for investors and operators over the coming months will inevitably be the Villa Magna, whose owner rejected a purchase offer from Jaime Gilinski in August for €190 million, and the (Westin) Palace. The owners of the latter have set a sales price of €330 million for the establishment.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Laura Salces Acebes)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hotel Villa Magna On The Market For €180M

2 June 2015 – Expansión

Madrid/ Sodim, the holding company owned by the Portuguese family Queiroz Pereira, is looking for a buyer for the five star hotel it acquired for €80 million in 2001.

Following the sales of the InterContinental and Ritz hotels to the Qatari sovereign fund and the alliance formed by Mandarin and the Saudi firm Olayan, respectively, it is the turn of Villa Magna. Sodim, the holding company owned by the Portuguese family Queiroz Pereira, has put the hotel, which it purchased from the Japanese company Shirayama in 2001 for €80 million, up for sale.

Sodim is asking €180 million for the five star property, located on Paseo de la Castellana. If it achieves its goal, it will become the largest operation to be signed in Madrid, ahead of the Ritz – €130 million – and the InterContinental – €70 million – but behind the €200 million paid by the Qatari Diar fund for Hotel Vela in Barcelona in 2013.

The operation, which is in its initial phases, may attract interest from foreign investors and international hotel groups wanting to improve their location or enter Madrid’s market, such as Hyatt, Hilton, Shangri-La, Kempinski and Jumeirah, amongst others.

Hyatt managed the Hotel Villa Magna for almost two decades until 2009, when following the complete renovation of the hotel, the owners decided to take over the management themselves. Sodim also owns the Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, which is operated by Four Seasons, which is itself finalising its entry into the Spanish market, at the Canalejas complex in Madrid, together with Juan Miguel Villar Mir.

Hyatt no longer has a presence in Spain after it exited the Villa Magna and La Manga (Murcia). Its name has also appeared on the list of candidates to take over the management of the Hotel Miguel Angel, whose future is still not clear. Its owner, the British investor of Iraqi origin Nadhmi Auchi, is operating the property following Occidental’s exit last year.

(…)

The Hotel Villa Magna underwent a major refurbishment several years ago. It closed its doors on 1 August 2007 and reopened again at the beginning of 2009…€50 million was invested in total…the result was a hotel with fewer, but more luxurious rooms. The property retained its distinctive pink granite façade and the number of rooms decreased from 182 to 150. In exchange, the number of suites increased from 18 to 50. It also expanded its gastronomic and leisure offer, with new restaurants and a spa. Since 2009, it has offered rooms measuring between 30m2 and 290m2 – the Royal Suite.

The average room rate at the Villa Magna starts from €310 per night for a standard room. The Royal Suite costs €16,000 per night.

(….) The luxury hotel sector has been hit by the crisis, although the Villa Magna has not suffered as much as some. In 2013, it generated turnover of €19.29 million, up 4.8%…and the net profit was €3.68 million, compared with losses of €14.89 million in the previous year.

Nevertheless, the hotel closed 2013 with negative equity of €33.8 million, due to financial charges and impairment losses. Its financial debt exceeded €70 million. Even though it has the backing of Sodim through equity loans, the auditor PwC warned of significant uncertainty in terms of the hotel’s capacity to continue as a going concern.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake