Grupo Barcelo unveils new company

15th May 2006

Grupo Barcelo,
headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, have announced the formation of
a new company within its portfolio: Playa Hotels & Resorts.Playa will focus on the acquisition and development of all-inclusive
beachfront resorts in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. To date,
Playa has raised more than $580 million in equity funding commitments from
a small group of international institutional investors, including Barcelo,
Merrill Lynch Global Principal Investments and Marathon Asset Management.
  Barcelo Crestline will be the asset manager for the Playa portfolio.
Bruce Wardinski, President and CEO of Barcelo Crestline, will also be the
Chairman and CEO of Playa Hotels & Resorts. The new company is
headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
  Playa is anticipating aggressive growth through the acquisition and
development of all-inclusive beachfront resorts in Mexico, Latin America
and the Caribbean. Playa’s initial portfolio will consist of four
properties in Mexico: the Barcelo Premium La Jolla de Mismaloya in Puerto
Vallarta, Barcelo Premium Ixtapa, the Barcelo Premium Huatulco and the
Barcelo Premium Karmina Palace in Manzanillo. All future acquisitions will
also be branded and managed by Barcelo Hotels & Resorts.
  Upon announcing the formation of the new company, Mr. Wardinski said,
“We are excited about this opportunity which allows Playa to exclusively
focus on growth in these key resort markets. Our team’s years of experience
in hotel acquisition, development and creating value for investors,
combined with Barcelo Hotels & Resorts’ tremendous brand recognition and
over two decades of experience in this region, creates a formidable
partnership. Playa will take advantage of $1.2 billion in total capital to
actively purchase existing resorts as well as develop new resorts in
attractive resort locations. This combination of investment and operations
expertise will drive superior returns for our investors while offering an
outstanding resort experience for our guests,” added Wardinski.


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