GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Singapore, has acquired from the Blackstone group a 35% stake in Hotel Investment Partners (HIP), the investment group founded by Alejandro Hernández-Puértolas that has become the first owner of tourist hotels in the south of Europe.
Financial sources explained that the transaction values HIP at 4,000 million euros, and combines the purchase of part of Blackstone’s shares and a capital increase, to give new impetus to the group’s growth plans. The amount of the operation has not been disclosed.
HIP owns 73 tourist hotels
Blackstone, the largest private investment fund in the world, entered HIP in 2017, when it bought the company that Hernández-Puértolas and Banco Sabadell had founded to manage some of the hotels that the bank had foreclosed on. The company is a group that acquires high-end tourist hotels, invests in their renovation to reposition them and transfers them, with management contracts, to specialized operators including Ritz-Carlton, Barceló, Meliá, Hyatt, Hilton, Ledra and Marriott . Currently, HIP has 73 hotels, totaling 21,479 rooms and has made an investment of more than 600 million euros in the rehabilitation of the properties alone.
The company’s philosophy is to acquire existing establishments, with 150 rooms or more, in privileged locations on the coast, given the difficulties and social rejection that often arises from building new hotels in these types of enclaves.
HIP began investing in Spain, in hotels in the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, and has recently also entered the Costa del Sol. The group began its internationalization in 2019, with its entry into Greece, and has subsequently entered Portugal and Italy, until it became the first hotel owner in the Mediterranean. The group, which is based in Barcelona, has a staff of 100 people.
HIP will now have as its shareholders the largest private investment fund (Blackstone) and sovereign fund (GIC) in the world. Hernández-Puértolas said in a statement that this alliance “is a new vote of confidence in HIP’s business and in the European tourism hotel sector,” and will give them “the ability to continue the transformation of the sector in southern Europe.” Financial sources explained that top-of-the-line hotels are usually in the hands of family owners or small chains, and it is expected that in the coming years the need to address family succession or to invest to maintain the competitiveness of the establishment will force them to be sold in many cases. .