Silken to Manage Boutique Hotel in Las Palmas

2 November 2017 – Alimarket

The hotel chain Hoteles Silken has embarked on a new project, which will see it take over the management of an urban boutique hotel. The property, which is currently under construction, is located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, specifically on Calle León y Castillo, 329-331. The building has a surface area of 3,300 m2 and overlooks the beach (Playa de Las Alcaravaneras). It will comprise six floors and offer 66 category 4E rooms. In this way, Silken has added its second unit in the Canary Islands, after it inaugurated ‘Silken Atlántida Santa Cruz’ (4E-144), in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in 2001.

The hotel is owned by Sanjay Bhagvanji Bhagvanji and Amarsi Ajay Bhagvanji Pradhan, through the company Saaj Hotels Invest, which was constituted in December 2015 and endowed with share capital of €1 million. It is the first hotel project that these businessmen have embarked on together, although they may undertake more in the future. For the time being, the construction work on the new establishment is progressing well and is expected to finish between September and October 2018. The final name of the property could be ‘Silken Saaj Las Palmas’.

Silken will not only manage the new hotel in Las Palmas once it is fully operational, it will also assume responsibility for everything relating to its launch from now on. The building, which will have a diachronic façade made from glass panels with changing colours and reflections, will house a double-height lobby on the ground floor, where the reception, breakfast room and a multi-use space will be located. The 66 rooms will be distributed evenly (11 per floor) whilst the top floor will be reserved for a restaurant and a chill-out area linked to the gastronomic space. Moreover, the hotel will incorporate strict light and sound control insulation measures. The design of the facilities, moreover, will result in an energy efficient building, “a property that is the hallmark of Hoteles Silken”, according to a statement. Meanwhile, “the attention to detail of the interior design project will translate into environments that will distil elegance and domesticity, offering users a familiar experience, with the benefits of the latest advances in home automation and light design”.

Original story: Alimarket (by Paco Mota)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Considers Listing HI Partners As A Socimi

29 May 2017 – Eje Prime

A new IPO may be on the horizon for the real estate arm of one of the large Spanish banks. Banco Sabadell is analysing the option of debuting its subsidiary HI Partners, through which it owns a portfolio of 31 hotels across Spain, on the stock market as a Socimi.

According to Expansión, the bank has engaged the investment banks Citi, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse to study the feasibility of the placement, whose final green light will depend on the entity’s President, Josep Oliu. The eventual debut on the stock market could take place after the summer.

Led by Alejandro Hernández-Puértolas and chaired by Enric Rovira, HI Partners was founded in 2015 by Sabadell to enable the Catalan entity to concentrate the ownership of the real estate assets linked to the tourist sector that it obtained as a result of foreclosures, into a single company. Through two companies, HI Partners Value Added and HI Partners Gestión Activa, the firm now owns 31 hotels with more than 3,500 rooms, which are managed by various hotel operators.

The group’s assets include establishments in Tenerife (the Hotel Jardín Tropical), Marbella (Incosol), Sitges (Terramar), Valencia (Acteon), Málaga (an establishment run by the hotel chain Silken) and Mallorca (the Hilton Sa Torre). In addition, HI Partners manages €800 million of the bank’s hotel debt.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Project Formentera: Santander To Sell €170M Hotel Debt Portfolio

18 May 2015 – El Confidencial

A new portfolio of hotel debt has just come onto the market. At a time when investors’ interest in these transactions is at an all time high, Santander has put loans worth €170 million relating to 17 hotels up for sale.

A new portfolio of hotel debt has just come onto the market. At a time when investors’ interest in these transactions is at an all time high, Santander, the largest Spanish bank, has decided to pique the insatiable interest of international funds in this type of transaction through the launch of an operation known as: Project Formentera.

It involves a portfolio of loans worth €170 million, linked to 17 hotels. The majority are located in the Community of Valencia and the Canary Islands, which encourages operations with investors interested, primarily, in the holiday segment and in the (Canarian) archipelago.

The portfolio that Santander has just launched joins those being promoted by two of its main rivals, BBVA and Bankia, which have also decided to take advantage of the window of opportunity that has opened to try to offload some of their debts, which include loans that the financial entities are very keen to divest.

According to sources in the market, unlike what may happen in the residential market – a business the banks know very well, since historically they have had the best prepared teams to manage such assets when they fail – the hotel business is a very specialised segment, whose incident rate (casuística) is more difficult for financial entities to manage.

This means that their priority, in general terms, is to try and sell debt, rather than foreclose it and take ownership of assets that they are much less familiar with than residential. If we add the insatiable appetite of the large international investors for the hotel sector, fuelled by the perfect combination of low prices and a strong recovery in the tourism sector, now is the perfect time to carry out these kinds of transactions.

A string of transactions

In fact, at the end of last year, Bankia closed the sale of a batch of hotel loans to Starwood and Sankaty for €400 million (Project Amazona) and is now finalising the second part of that transaction, known as Castle, whose finalists are Apollo, Oaktree and Bank of America. BBVA has also just opened the bidding for 14 hotels it inherited from unpaid loans, a process known as Project Otelo; meanwhile Sareb has just engaged N+1 to manage the sale of a portfolio with a nominal value of €500 million, which is linked to the property developer Polaris World, in an operation known as Project Birdie.

And so the list goes on. A few weeks ago, the German bad bank FMS Wertmanagement sold the portfolio known as Gaudí to Oaktree for close to €500 million – a batch of problem loans linked to, amongst others, the iconic luxury hotel Arts de Barcelona, as well as another high-end property in Cascais (Portugal), five shopping centres, including Plaza Éboli and Heron City, several storage buildings, and residential and industrial assets.

Moreover, the large financial entities that signed the €152 million syndicated loan with the Basque property developer Urvasco, which, in turn, owns the hotel chain Silken, have spent the last few months selling their stakes both in this debt, as well as in those linked to certain establishments, including the Puerta de America hotel in Madrid; Bank of America is taking advantage of this window to enter through the ‘front door’ of what is considered to be the last great Spanish hotel chain up for sale.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Silken Hotels’ Owner Files For Bankruptcy With €400m Debt

11 February 2015 – Cinco Días

The British investment fund Carey lobbied for Urvasco to file for bankruptcy

Urvasco has suffered from financial imbalances for years. When the financial crisis hit, the company held substantial investments in its hotel and property development businesses. To try and solve its problems, it has sold assets ranging from wind turbines to works of art, but has not managed to balance its books. Finally, this month, Commercial Court No. 1 of Vitoria has issued an order for the bankruptcy of the group owned by the businessman Antón Iráculis, which has liabilities of more than €400 million.

Carey Value Added has lobbied for this process, according to the judgement issued by the magistrate María Teresa Trinidad. The British fund was a partner of Urvasco when they launched a hotel together in London; the project failed.

As a result of that failed investment, Carey was left with a debt of €68.9 million, which was recognised by the High Court in London in April 2013. In 2008, Urvasco did not obtain financing for the construction of the hotel in the English capital because the financial institutions realised that it did not meet the required solvency levels; this damaged Carey, which had already financed some of the investment in advance.

The British investment fund requested the recognition and enforcement of that foreign resolution in Spain. That resulted in a long dispute between both parties, which ended in the Commercial Court No. 1 of Vitoria. In her sentence, the magistrate María Teresa Trinidad stated that Carey “has proven the general non-payment of overdue obligations”, by both the Grupo Urvasco (UG), as well as by its subsidiary Grupo Hotelero Urvasco (GHU), which is 93.25% owned.

The magistrate also added that the debt of €68.9 million was recognised in GHU’s accounts at the end of 2013. This stake is managed by the hotel chain Silken, which includes 32 establishments, according to information gathered from the company’s website. The best known are the Puerta América in Madrid and the Dómine in Bilbao; the latter is located opposite the Guggenheim Museum. They also own the Ciudad de Vitoria in the Álavan capital.

In addition to its hotel business, Grupo Urvasco is one of the leading property developers in Spain, although its shares are not publicly traded. In Bilbao, it constructed the Torres Isozaki, which house almost two hundred homes along the Nervion River.

Urvasco has 20 days to file an appeal with the Provincial Court of Álava against its insolvency. Sources close to the process take it as a given that the company owned by Anton Iráculis will resort to this action, since it previously fought “hard” against Carey’s debt to classify it as “not overdue and under judgement” (pending judicial review).

A significant part of the Basque group’s liability is a syndicated loan amounting to €152 million with a syndicate of financial institutions, including BBVA, Banco Popular, EBN and CaixaBank.

The total debt balances will be disclosed over time, when the bankruptcy administrator, the company Sindicatura, collects all of the information. The creditors have one month to communicate the Grupo Urvasco’s non-payments and close its consolidated liabilities.

Original story: Cinco Días (by J. Vadillo/L. Salces)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Creditor Applies to Bankrupt Urvasco

20/10/2014 – Expansion

A lender has presented a bankruptcy petition to the Court of Vitoria for Grupo Urvasco, the main shareholder and manager of hotel chain Silken (the Al-Andalus hotel in Seville pictured).

The group has been dodging insolvency process for years and its current indebtness posts €600 million.


Original article: Expansion

Translation: AURA REE