HG Inaugurates its First Urban Hotel & Prepares another Vacation Project

15 January 2019 – Alimarket

The chain HG Hoteles has opened the 4-star HG City Suites Barcelona aparthotel containing 58 accommodation units on Avenida Vía Augusta 89, in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona. The establishment is the result of the purchase and complete renovation of a building that used to house the Hotel NH Belagua (3* and 72 rooms), which was active until March 2017. The renovation project has resulted in both an increase in the category of the property from 3* to 4*, as well as a reduction in the number of rooms in order to offer units that are apartment-suites and studios.

The new HG City Suites Barcelona is located just a few minutes walk from Avenida Diagonal and Paseo de Gracia. It is surrounded by services, is next to some of the most prestigious medical centre in Barcelona, and is very close to the Sant Gervasio, Plaza Molina and Fontana metro stops”, explained the company. With his hotel, HG, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, is making its debut in the urban hotel segment and is opening a new path of expansion.

Cristian Park will open in 2020

Nevertheless, the company’s next new property will be in the vacation sector and is scheduled for opening at the end of 2020. As Alimarket Hoteles reported, it will consist of the opening of a 4* new build aparthotel, to be operated by the owner, in the south of Tenerife, where HG Hoteles already has several apartment blocks: ‘HG Cristian Sur’ (3* and 90 rooms) and ‘HG Tenerife’ (3* and 189 rooms), in Los Cristianos. Indeed, it will open the future HG Cristian Park in that same town, with 202 accommodation units.

HG’s sun and beach offer is completed with the HG Lomo Blanco apartments (3* and 131 rooms) in Lanzarote, as well as some aparthotels in Menorca, namely: the ‘HG Jardín de Menorca’ (4*-144) and the ‘HG Cala Llonga’ (3*-30). The rest of its portfolio is made up of ski and mountain properties, including: the Huesca hotels ‘HG Alto Aragón’ (4*-134) and ‘HG Cerler’ (3*-101), the Girona-based ‘HG La Molina’ (4*-65), the Navarran ‘HG Isaba’ (3*-49) and the Granada-based ‘HG Maribel’ (4*-30).

Original story: Alimarket (by Paco Mota)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meliá Generates Profits Of €45M In H1 2016

2 August 2016 – Expansión

The hotel chain earned €45 million during the six months to June and reduced its net debt by €213 million.

The hotel chain Meliá, which will join the Ibex next week, replacing FCC, doubled its profits during the first half of the year, to €45 million. The company has highlighted that the 123% improvement in net profit has been generated even without the sale of any assets.

The company owned by the Escarrer family increased its average revenue per room (RevPAR) by 9.4% – or by 14.2% if we include the assets under management in its portfolio – and whereby recorded six years of consecutive quarterly increases.

The company closed the first half of the year with operating income of €856 million, 0.4% lower than in the same period in 2015. If we strip out the effect of gains from the sale of assets last year, operating income increased by 5.7%.

By geographic region, RevPAR in America was lower in H1 2016 than in H1 2015, which the company explains was due to the impact of the depreciation in the Canadian dollar, the economic deceleration in Brazil and Argentina, changes in reservations due to the Zika virus and the good temperature in the USA and Canada, the main issuing markets. By contrast, the company highlighted the strong performance of hotels in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, with a RevPAR increae of 30.9%.

In terms of the financial situation, Meliá decreased its net debt by €213 million during the first six months of the year, bringing it down to €556 million at the end of June, thanks primarily to the early conversion of a convertible bond issued in 2013.

The Vice-President and CEO of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, stated that the repositioning of its hotels, investment in assets and strategic markets, as well as financial strengthening have allowed the group to return to the Ibex thirteen years later.

The company is “optimistic” about the performance of its hotel complexes during the third quarter and its urban hotels during the second half of the year. In the same way, it forecasts a favourable “albeit unequal” performance across its “European hotels”, influenced by the world environment, especially France, in the face of the heightened terrorist threat. In terms of America, the firm expects a boost with the opening of several new hotels: Innside New York Nomad, ME Miami and Meliá Braco Village (Jamaica).

At a conference with analysts, the company made reference to Brexit explaining that it does not expect any impact in the short term, given that Britons have already booked their holidays for 2016, and some have even booked for next year.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Capital Considers Creating A Hotel Socimi

21 January 2016 – Expansión

The fourth investment fund that Meridia Capital is going to launch will specialise in the acquisition of urban hotels and may be a Listed Real Estate Investment Company (Socimi).

The founder and CEO of the fund manager headquartered in Barcelona, Javier Faus, said at a forum organised by Exceltur in advance of Fitur that “there is capacity in Spain to have three or four Socimis specialising in the hotel sector”. “And not only in the holiday segment”, said Faus, referring to the only pure hotel Socimi in operation in Spain at the moment, namely, Bay, which was created last year as the result of an alliance between Barceló and Hispania. Faus acknowledged that Meridia is currently analysing whether its fourth fund “could be a hotel Socimi”.

“The final decision still needs to be taken, and although that will not happen for a few months, it will be taken in 2016”, he said. The CEO of Meridia also said that the new vehicle will specialise in urban hotels, although the firm still needs to decide whether it will lease or manage these properties and whether or not it will build up a multi-brand portfolio, containing hotels from various chains. Faus added that he has not yet started talks with any hotel group.

Nevertheless, he is very clear about the location of the assets: Madrid and Barcelona, “although the fund may allocate between 15% and 20% of its resources to investment in other countries”, he added.

Investors

The strong interest in Spain from the international markets is helping the Spanish Socimis, which are consequently not facing much difficulty when it comes to raising capital. The urban hotel segment continues to be one of the most attractive, given the strong performance of the tourist sector in Barcelona and the significant recovery that the business sector is experiencing in Madrid.

In fact, experts in the real estate sector say that the biggest problem at the moment is finding assets available for sale, although in the hotel sector the willingness of the large hotel chains to sell buildings and continue leasing and managing them (sale & leaseback) may represent an opportunity for the Socimis, which for the most part, are looking for assets that they can lease.

This would be Meridia’s fourth fund and it may be created almost in parallel to the third, which is currently being established and which is focusing on investment in real estate assets in general. Faus expects that the third fund will raise capital amounting to €250 million, mainly from institutional funds in the US and Europe, but also from insurance companies. Together with bank financing, he expects that it will invest around €600 million.

The previous fund, Meridia II, invested €400 million between 2014 and 2015, of which €150 million came from investors and the rest from bank financing. The first fund launched by Faus, in 2007, was devoted entirely to the hotel sector, and as such the Socimi that he is considering creating now would not be new territory for him. That first fund acquired hotels outside of Spain, operated by a variety of hotel brands. They included the Hotel Ritz-Carlton and the Crowne Plaza in Santiago de Chile, the Four Seasons in México DF, the InterContinental in Sao Paulo and the Hotel W París Ópera, as well as a stake in three resorts in Thailand operated by Six Senses (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Y. Blanco and M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Acquires Hesperia Ramblas & Vincci Málaga Hotels For €27.9m

15 January 2015 – Hispania press release

Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios, S.A. (Hispania) has acquired the Hesperia Ramblas hotel in Barcelona and the Vincci Málaga hotel for a total amount of €27.9 million, through its subsidiary Hispania Real SOCIMI, S.A.U.. In both transactions, the consideration has been fully disbursed from Hispania’s own funds.

These two acquisitions fit Hispania’s investment strategy in urban hotels, reinforcing its presence in two very important markets in Spain. They also complement the acquisitions made by the company back in July 2014 in the Madrid region, bringing Hispania’s total urban hotel portfolio to four.

Hotel Hesperia Ramblas

The Hesperia Ramblas is a 3* hotel with 70 rooms, located next to Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s main tourist area par excellence and close to the emblematic market La Boquería. The acquisition includes a retail space, which is leased to a financial entity. The aggregate investment amounts to €17.5 million.

The hotel is currently managed by Grupo Hesperia (the Spanish hotel operator) under a long-term lease agreement, whereby the rent received will increase until 2019. The average gross yield of the investment stands at 7.6%.

“Barcelona is a strategic location for Hispania due to its excellent positioning as a tourist and business destination, which means the Hesperia Ramblas hotel fits perfectly within our hotel portfolio”, stated Concha Osácar, Board Member of Hispania.

Hotel Vincci Málaga

The Vincci Málaga is a 4* hotel with 105 rooms, located right on the seafront in Málaga city. It is currently operated by Grupo Vincci (the Spanish hotel operator) under a long-term lease contract. The hotel’s estimated gross yield for 2015 exceeds 8%.

“2014 has been a historic year in terms of visitor numbers, nights and average stay for the city of Málaga, with an average occupancy during the year of more than 70%, up 5 p.p. on 2013”, said Concha Osácar. “In addition, the RevPar growth in 2014 in the city of Málaga has experienced a double-digit increase, positioning it as one of the cities with the biggest growth in Spain in 2014”.  

Original press release: Hispania

Edited by: Carmel Drake