Meliá Finalises Sale & Leaseback of Palacio de Congresos Hotel in Valencia

20 July 2018 – Las Provincias

The tallest skyscraper in Valencia is on the verge of changing hands. The sale of Meliá’s Palacio de Congresos Hotel, located on Avenida de las Cortes Valencianas, number 52, is being finalised for €50 million, according to sources speaking to Las Provincias. The operation is expected to be signed in September and several investors have expressed their interest in acquiring the former Hilton Hotel.

The owner of the iconic property, the fund Colony Capital, took just two months to put it on the market after acquiring it in February when it purchased the fund Continental Property Investments (CPI), the former owner of the hotel. According to the same sources, the candidates to acquire the building now include Socimis, institutional investors and family offices, such as the Valencian Zriser group, the firm owned by Pablo Serratosa. Another interested player is AXA Real Estate, the company that acquired the Hilton Hotel Diagonal Mar in Barcelona last year.

Despite the change of owner, the management of the hotel will continue to be entrusted to Meliá, which signed an extendable 10-year operating contract in 2011. It is a strategic asset for the hotel group, given its location next to the Palacio de Congresos, which makes it the best-positioned accommodation on the market for business people and guests of events organised in the Valencian enclave.

A yield of 5%

According to sources familiar with the operation, the asking price for the hotel was €45 million, which was the “minimum to make an offer”. Nevertheless, the market was pricing it at around 10% more, approximately €50 million and some even think that it will be sold more than that. “Socimis and institutional investors look for yields of 5% per year”, they reveal.

In addition, the sale price per room will range between €165,000 and €175,000. In terms of the price per overnight stay, hotels of this kind with an occupancy rate of 80% typically range between €90 and €95 per room. The expectation is that the former Hilton will cost around €100 per night in five years time.

The former Hilton is a 5-star hotel that opened its doors to the public in May 2007. It stands 117 m tall and has 29 storeys, with 269 rooms, 33 suites and two presidential suites. Moreover, it has a convention room and 18 meeting rooms. The building was constructed between 2002 and 2006 at a cost of €110 million, double the price at which the owners want to sell it for now. It was in 2010 when the owner company, the firm Hotel Palacio de Congresos SL, sold the property to CPI to avoid its definitive closure after that company filed for voluntary creditor bankruptcy.

Original story: Las Provincias (by Elísabeth Rodríguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Marina d’Or’s RE Company Reaches Agreement with Creditors to Emerge from Bankruptcy

12 April 2018 – El Economista

Marina D’Or has managed to convince the creditors of its real estate company, Comercializadora Mediterránea de Viviendas (Comervi), to give their approval to an agreement that will allow it to emerge from bankruptcy, which began in 2014 with a liability of around €600 million. In the case of the ordinary loans, two options are being offered: a discount of 65% and the payment of the balance in 10 years time; or the capitalisation of the debt into shares in the company.

The group led by Jesús Ger has already reached an agreement with Sareb and is going to negotiate another specific deal with the Tax Authorities.

The agreement must be ratified by the judge, a process that is expected to take between two and three months. On 6 May 2014, the Judge of Mercantile Court number 1 in Castellón accepted Comervi’s voluntary creditor bankruptcy, following the suspension of sales and of the construction plans for new apartments.

Thanks to this new agreement with its creditors, the firm “faces a future with positive prospects”, highlight sources at the entity.

Original story: El Economista (by Olivia Fontanillo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Jale Group Owner Acquitted Of Fraud In Incosol Case

27 July 2016 – Expansión

The former owners, the Basque García-Egocheaga family, had accused López Esteras of swindling them during his purchase of the prestigious medical-hotel complex.

The Provincial Court of Vizcaya has acquitted the businessman José Antonio López Esteras, founder of the Jale Group, of crimes involving fraud, continued fraud and concealment of assets, of which he was accused following the sale of Incosol, formerly one of the most prestigious medical-hotel complexes in Europe, located in Marbella.

In addition, his son José Antonio López Esteras Camacho and son-in-law, Alfred Fischbac, have also gone free. They are the former directors of the Cádiz-based holding company, which has now filed for liquidation but which was one of the largest companies in Andalucía in its hey-day, with real estate, construction and hotel businesses.

The case dates back to 2007, when Jale acquired Incosol from the Basque García-Egocheaga family – which also used to own the Hotel Los Monteros – for €50 million through a complex financial and corporate operation. Less than fourteen months later, they filed a lawsuit against the three executives mentioned above, asking for 24 years in prison and compensation amounting to €3.6 million on the basis that they had made payment guarantees and commitments assumed by the Andalucían group somehow disappear.

Those obligations were guaranteed through the constitution of a pledge over 100% of the shares in the company Hotel Monasterio San Miguel, S.A., whose main asset was the hotel of the same name – located in El Puerto de San María – one of the most reputable in Andalucía and the flagship of its hotel division.

Shortly thereafter, Jale filed for voluntary creditor bankruptcy, but before doing so, it reached an agreement with BBVA to transfer ownership of the property to the bank for €24 million, in a sale & leaseback operation.

The plaintiffs consider that, with this manoeuvre, the executives made “the guarantees that secured the fulfilment of its obligations disappear in a fraudulent way”.

Now, however, the Provincial Court of Vizcaya has acquitted them on the basis that “the evidence provided is not sufficient to conclude that the intention behind establishing the pledge over the shares of Hotel Monasterio was to deceive García Egocheaga, or hide from them the fact that the guarantee was going to disappear”.

In addition, the court said that the former owners of Incosol were offered other guarantees in real estate assets worth more than €30 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Simón Onrubia)

Translation: Carmel Drake