The hotel chain Meliá Hotels International has acquired the Hotel Barcelona Apolo, a four-star establishment located in the centre of Barcelona, for more than 90 million euros. The asset was previously owned by Värde Partners and managed by Meliá under lease. The transaction has been brokered exclusively by the consultancy firm CBRE.
The hotel, with 314 rooms and more than 17.000 sqm, is located on Avinguda Paral-lel. Located very close to the Port of Barcelona, the establishment is key to the cruise business. «The sale of the Hotel Barcelona Apolo was one of the major transactions that materialises in 2021», says Jorge Ruiz, director of hotels at CBRE Spain.
After suffering the worst year in its history, the hotel sector is starting to pick up again thanks to the distribution of vaccinations and the lifting of travel restrictions. «From an investment point of view, the high level of liquidity in the market combined with the cash needs of many owners, as well as the continued attractiveness of Spain for investors, augur a second half of the year with more transactional movement than has been seen in the first six months», adds Ruiz.
In recent months, numerous international investors have focused on raising capital to acquire hotel assets in Spain, demonstrating their interest and confidence in the sector's recovery. «Some of these investors are entering the market through sale&lease and sale&management transactions, which allow sellers to maintain operations while making cash, as well as through more corporate transactions aimed at bringing in strategic partners in the capital of hotel companies and the creation of joint ventures», concludes the executive.
Since the acquisition of the hotel in 2015 Värde has executed a series of value creation initiatives, including refinancing the business and delivering a comprehensive investment program, to establish Hotel Barcelona Apolo as a leading destination for international tourists and corporate events.
«The timing of the sale reflects our conviction in the underlying quality of the hotel, and the enduring appeal of Barcelona as a destination for international capital. There was strong demand for the asset demonstrating the attractive dynamics that underpin the Spanish hospitality sector, and its ability to thrive as lockdown restrictions ease,» said Héctor Serrat, Managing Director at Värde. «We continue to look for opportunities to invest across the Spanish real estate market, from both an equity and lending perspective, and believe we can play an important role in supporting hoteliers as they look to reopen and stabilize their businesses.»
Alfredo Laffitte, Director General of Dospuntos Asset Management, said: «Since acquiring the property we have made a series of improvements to the hotel, helping to drive revenue growth and enhance performance. This deal highlights the continued strength of the Spanish hospitality industry, and we look forward to watching the hotel’s sustained success in the future.»