Blackstone acquires Banco Sabadell's Hotel Investment Partners

The Ritz-Carlton Abama, Spain

In a transaction with Spanish lender Banco Sabadell, Blackstone has acquired a portfolio of 14 hotels with more than 3,700 guestrooms. The company has acquired Hotel Investment Partners on behalf of European opportunity fund Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V. 

Banco Sabadell has been eyeing divestment opportunities for Hotel Investment Partners, which is run by Alejandro Puértolas, potentially through a public listing. Puértolas, founding partner and CE of HI Partners, told IP&E Real Assets, “Blackstone’s investment will allow us to maximise the value of our existing hotel portfolio for our investors and to focus on HI Partners’ continued growth across Spain."

This recent investment follows less than three months after Blackstone's fund bought up stock in a €30-billion real estate portfolio originally owned by Banco Popular. According to Blackstone, the investor beat two other bidders to acquire a 51-percent stake in the portfolio and all of Aliseda, a real estate management company under Banco Popular. Blackstone secured the deal on behalf of its Backstone Real Estate Partners Europe V as well. 

While Blackstone established a new company to hold the assets and management business, Banco Popular will own a 49-percent stake in the new company. The deal was announced on the same day that EU regulators approved Santander's rescue takeover of the bank. Banco Popular's Spanish assets, including properties, loans and tax assets, but excluding Aliseda, are valued at €10 billion. This price is in line with the valuation and provisions Santander made during its Banco Popular purchase. Rodrigo Echenique, chairman of Santander Spain, told IP&E Real Assets, “The agreement significantly reduces our real estate exposures and further strengthens our balance sheet, allowing us to focus all our efforts on supporting customers." 

The portfolio sale, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is set to close in the first quarter of 2018. Pedro Pablo Villasante, independent director of Banco Popular, has been supervising the transaction process as Morgan Stanley advises the seller.