04 Feb 2020

Spain is the target of the great international and national investors that are committed to the hotel sector

The local capital advances for the first time in five years the international in the purchase of hotels

• Azora, Millenium and Atom stand on the podium of the most active investors in 2019

• In the sum of the last three years Blackstone is positioned as a leader in the sector

Spain is the target of the great international and national investors that are committed to the hotel sector. After consolidating one more year as one of the great tourist powers, our country continues to attract significant investment volumes, in the heat of an increasing number of tourists arriving in Spain and also spending more and more money on their trips.

These fundamentals are key factors for capital to continue looking towards our country with appetite, but so are our infrastructure, gastronomy, our health system and the cultural variety offered by our geography. This environment has promoted the creation and consolidation of new investment vehicles and specialized socimis in the tourism sector, which have also positioned themselves as the main investors in the sector in 2019.

Specifically, they climb on the Azora, Millenium and Atom podium, reflecting "the trend change that occurred last year, surpassing the national capital abroad for the first time in five years," explains Miguel Vázquez, partner and director of the hotel area of Colliers Spain, which specifies that in 2019 60% of the investment had a local seal, monopolizing investments by volume of 1,446 million euros, compared to 1,072 million of international buyers.


Together with Azora, Millenium and Atom, the role of chains such as Barceló and Hotusa stands out. In fact, they are the ones with the highest joint disbursement in 2019, with investments of 625 million euros. In the foreign branch, the chains barely reach 120 million euros, while institutional investors, such as Henderson Park or Parterns Group, are positioned with purchases for 945 million euros.

"Around 25% of the investment registered during 2019 comes from European capital. North America is positioned as the second focus of hotel investment with 16%, while the weight of Asian investors becomes residual," explains Vázquez.

At the country level, the United States, with 403 million, dominated international investment in 2019, followed by the United Kingdom with 225 million and France with 163 million.

'Ranking' of investors

Azora has climbed to the top spot, being the most active in the purchase of assets last year with the acquisition of nine hotels totaling 2,112 rooms, according to data Colliers drives. The manager founded by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio keeps the gold medal, which in the previous two years has been in the hands of Blackstone.

Although the fund disappears in 2019 from the list of the main investors, it remains the largest in the accumulated of the last three years, since its activity in 2017 and 2018 was very high, with the purchase of 194 hotels that They add 19,720 rooms. With these acquisitions, Blackstone starred in two of the major corporate operations in the sector after the crisis. Thus, in October 2017 Blackstone acquired the Sabadell platform, HIP (Hotel Investment Partners), for 630 million, and in less than a year it was made with Hispania, after a bid that valued the socimi founded by Azora at 2,000 million euros . These two movements made HIP the largest hotel owner in Spain, which last year announced an investment plan of 500 million to reposition its assets.

After the sale of Hispania, Azora disappeared for a while from the hotel map, but returned forcefully to raise a fund of 600 million, with the capacity to invest about 1.3 billion euros in the purchase of hotels in Spain and the Mediterranean and also of hostels in the main European capitals. Months later, the manager also announced the creation of a joint venture with Palladium, to invest some 500 million in the holiday hotel sector in Europe. The new vehicle, in which Azora controls 75% of the capital, began its activity with the acquisition of two complexes owned by the hotel company, for a total of 115 million euros.


Azora raises two funds to invest 1.6 billion in coastal hotels, hostels and nursing homes


"Azora was at the time the first player to see clearly the great opportunity of the sector and launched Hispania," says Vázquez, who points out that the "manager will probably be one of the most active actors this year." The manager also believes that "Atom and Millenium will also have to speak in 2020".

Atom jumped to the MAB (Alternative Stock Market) in November 2018 with a powerful portfolio valued at 500 million euros. That same year, the socimi positioned second, behind Blackstone, with the purchase of 21 hotels. The company, promoted by Bankinter, was conceived as an investment vehicle directed mainly to a segment of Private Banking clients of the entity that demand a stable annual profitability and with little volatility. In addition to the bank and a large group of investors, GMA participates in the socimi with a 3.7% position.

In 2019 he takes the bronze after stepping on the accelerator the last month of the year and closing the purchase of five hotels, which add up to 1,331 rooms, for just over 116 million euros. In the calculation of the last three years, it is second in the ranking with the acquisition of 28 establishments and 6,483 beds.

For its part, Millenium, which debuted at the MAB in July last year, concentrated its activity in the third quarter of the year with three operations by volume of 192 million. His star purchase in the capital was that of the former Hotel Asturias, which is being rehabilitated to reopen it, becoming the first W in Madrid. our estimates, this figure anticipates that in the total of 2020 could be reached between 2,000 million and 3,000 million euros of investment ", explains the manager of Colliers.

"This would be an investment scenario that we would see totally reasonable," says Vázquez, who points out that "the appetite for the hotel sector in Spain continues. There is a lot of liquidity in the market and interest rates help a lot."

Madrid continues to outperform Barcelona as a hotel investment destination, with 454 million euros compared to 242

"The investment volumes registered in 2019 have led the hotel sector to represent 20% of the total tertiary investment, when in 2014 it was 10%. The hotel is no longer an alternative asset," says Vázquez, who points out that the 99 hotels were transacted last year, totaling 16,314 rooms.

On the other hand, the purchases of land have multiplied by two, reaching 164 million, while the operations of purchase of real estate for its conversion to hotel have stood at 242 million, with 18 operations, representing an increase of 59 ,4%.

As for markets within Spain, Madrid continues to outpace Barcelona as a hotel investment destination, with 454 million euros, compared to the 242 million registered by Barcelona.


Source: News extracted from digital newspaper El Economista.


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