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Banca March launches a joint venture with Meliá Hotels International and acquires 80% of three hotels which will continue to be operated by the hotel brand

31 May 2023 Category: Agreements

  • The bank has acquired 80% of the stake held until now by a financial institution managed by Starwood Capital Group in one hotel in Ibiza and two in Fuerteventura. Meliá Hoteles International (MHI) owns the remaining 20% and will continue to operate the properties.
  • The agreement between Banca March and MHI includes the strategic repositioning of well-established beachfront assets in excellent locations, with strong tourism demand as the core driver of value creation.
  • The investment falls under Banca March's co-investment strategy; as such, the bank will be inviting its clients to co-invest in the project. The agreement reinforces Meliá's partnership strategy, aimed at delivering growth under asset-light models with top-level strategic partners.
  • Banca March strengthens its commitment to a sector with which it has been closely linked for decades and positions itself as a leading provider of hotel advisory services.

Banca March, which was founded in the Balearic Islands and has been a leading provider of banking services for the hotel sector for decades, has acquired an 80% stake in three hotel assets owned to date by a company managed by the Starwood Capital Group. Meliá Hoteles International (MHI) owns the remaining 20%. The agreement between Banca March and MHI includes the strategic repositioning of well-established beachfront assets in excellent locations, with strong tourism demand as the core driver of value creation.

The hotels encompassed by the transaction, which will continued to be operated by MHI under the Group brands, are:

  • Sol Beach House Ibiza (4*), which will be rebranded under Meliá Hotels & Resorts.
  • Meliá Fuerteventura (4*), which will be repositioned in the premium segment.
  • Innside Fuerteventura (4*), a repositioned asset that will strengthen synergies with the new Meliá Fuerteventura.

Banca March's specialist team for the hotel and tourism sector - the Hotels and Tourism Unit, has worked on the transaction throughout the process. In coordination with the bank's other departments, this unit offers Banca March's customers a comprehensive range of specific advisory services for the sector.

The transaction falls within the real economy co-investment strategy available to Banca March customers as a unique feature of its wealth management service provision. Since 2008, Banca March has managed over €2.65bn in real economy co-investment projects, in which 1,750 customers have invested alongside the bank. In 2022 alone, co-investment initiatives (real economy and private equity fund of funds) were marketed for a total of €570 million.

Acron Beka (Beka Finance) was the financial advisor on the transaction and Cuatrecasas and Gómez-Acebo provided legal counsel.

Banca March CEO José Luis Acea said: “This transaction is in a core sector for Banca March, given our origins, our extensive, in-depth industry knowledge and our close ties with businesses in the sector. Banca March offers its customers the unique, exclusive opportunity to invest in a hugely compelling economic activity which is currently outperforming, and to do so in partnership with an outstanding,  highly prestigious global operator. The project offers tremendous capacity to add value by repositioning a series of hotel assets in prime locations, enhancing the status of these assets in terms of rating, capacity and service quality. After decades advising and serving companies in the hotel sector, Banca March invests with conviction in the industry and invites its customers to participate in this initiative, whilst simultaneously exploring unique transaction opportunities to deliver shared growth with the hotel sector.

Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hoteles International (MHI), said: “For Meliá Hotels International, this transaction is an excellent reflection of our strategy of building corporate alliances with highly prestigious, solvent partners that are committed to further developing the sector. Thanks to the quality of the assets involved, the strength of our brands and our management and distribution capabilities, we are certain that Meliá is the perfect partner to grow alongside Banca March through asset-light formulas. This strategy also aligns perfectly with the bank's real economy co-investment approach, particularly in the tourism industry; as two companies with Mallorcan roots, tourism is a core part of our corporate identity.”

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