Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Qatar fund in deal to buy luxury hotels in Sardinia

Qatar fund in deal to buy luxury hotels in Sardinia



Gulf Times - April 16, 2012
http://www.qia.qa/     http://www.caladivolpe.com/  http://www.golfclubpevero.net/eng/

@starwoodcosta
 business week article
The investment arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has signed a "definitive" agreement to acquire Smeralda Holding, owner of luxury hotel resorts on Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, from Colony Capital, the US-based real estate investment firm.

Under the terms of the agreement, Qatar Holding will acquire a portfolio consisting of four luxury hotels (Cala di Volpe, Pitrizza, Romazzino and Cervo) with a total of 372 rooms, the Porto Cervo Marina (host to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda), the Porto Cervo Shipyard, the Pevero Golf Club (designed by Robert Trent Jones), a 51% interest in 2,290 hectares of adjacent undeveloped land and various other real estate assets in Costa Smeralda.

The existing management team of Smeralda Holding will remain in place following completion of the transaction and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. will continue to manage the hotels.
Closing of the transaction is conditional on the receipt of antitrust approval from Italian competition authorities.

“We have invested in Sardinia given the importance of the area,” HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said at a news conference in Rome yesterday with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti. “I can ensure that the Italian side will be happy about our investment.”

Commenting on the transaction, Qatar Holding managing director and chief executive officer Ahmad Mohamed al-Sayed said: “We are happy to have agreed terms for the acquisition of this established portfolio of luxury assets in Sardinia. We intend to continue supporting the on-going development programme which will see Costa Smeralda strengthen its position as one of the world’s top resort destinations”.

Colony Capital chairman and chief executive officer Tom Barrack said: “I have said before that Costa Smeralda is for no one to own… it owns you. Our job was to leave it better than when we found it. We are now fortunate enough to transition this stewardship to the best, most respected, qualified and nurturing caretaker on the globe today in our partners at Qatar Holding. Their increased investment is a huge vote of confidence for Italy, Sardinia, Costa Smeralda and all of its peoples.”

Evercore Partners acted as financial adviser to Qatar Holding. Deutsche Bank acted as adviser to Colony.

Costa Smeralda is a tourist destination in northern Sardinia, which includes several luxury hotels and a golf club.
Qatar Holding is part of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA),
the state’s sovereign wealth fund.
The deal will be the latest in a string of European property acquisitions by Qatar. The sovereign fund’s other high-profile investments include the upmarket Harrods department store in London and the recent buy of Credit Suisse headquarters in Canary Wharf.
Gulf-government backed funds have been on a buying spree in Europe and are eyeing investments in real estate, infrastructure and other sectors.
Qatar, through its $ 100bn sovereign fund, also owns stakes in luxury goods house LVMH and oil company Total.
It also owns shares in Credit Suisse and has recently been building up ownership in London-listed miner Xstrata ahead of the company’s possible merger with commodities giant Glencore.
Lorenzo Totaro in Rome
ltotaro@bloomberg.net
Zainab Fattah in Dubai
zfattah@bloomberg.net
Andrew Blackman
ablackman@bloomberg.net

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