3 May 2017 – Expansión
Hispania is getting ready to embark on a new phase. The Socimi in which George Soros owns a stake wants to update its hotel portfolio, by purchasing new assets and reposition its existing properties, with the aim of preparing the company for sale, which must happen before March 2020 – the date on which the company will celebrate its sixth anniversary of trading on the stock market.
The company plans to invest €400 million in new hotel acquisitions, which it will undertake, for the most part, before September, including an establishment in Mallorca with 250 rooms that is expected to be completed soon and which will turn it into the largest hotel owner in Spain and the third largest group in Europe behind Pandox and Foncière des Murs.
The group has 38 hotels and 11,000 rooms. The gross asset value (GAV) of its hotel portfolio amounts to €1,257 million, according to the most recent valuation performed by CBRE.
Similarly, the company will spend €250 million on the repositioning and renovation of its portfolio. This investment effort will be undertaken primarily in 2018. The group will finance this investment using its own capital and through debt.
In this way, the managers seek to have Hispania ready by the first quarter of 2019 to prepare it for its sale. The Socimi is considering selling off the whole company – excluding its offices and homes – through a transfer of control, rather than by selling off the assets individually or in batches.
The entry of Soros into the group’s most senior management body, following the incorporation of Benjamin D. Barnett, analyst at Soros Fund Management UK Management LLP, into the Board, will facilitate contact with international investors interested in the company, according to sources in the market.
In addition to its hotel portfolio, the Socimi managed by Azora also owns 27 office buildings, worth €520 million and measuring more than 185,000 m2, as well as a portfolio of homes comprising 750 units worth €230 million.
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake