Press: Spain hotel groups bid for Occidental

9th Oct 2006

NH Hoteles, Sol Melia and privately owned Barcelo are in advanced talks to buy a stake in Caribbean hotelier Occidental, owned by private equity group Mercapital, the Expansion newspaper reported. The business paper said all three had presented binding bids for Occidental Hoteles and a deal could be wrapped up by the end of the year.

Mercapital was not immediately available to comment on the report, which said that the value of the stake was between 300 million euros and 350 million euros ($381-445 million), according to Reuters news wire.

Both Sol Melia and Barcelo declined to comment on the report, while NH was not immediately available.

In January the private equity group halted the sale of its stake after last year’s hurricanes in Mexico and the Caribbean, according to fellow shareholder Cartera Hotelera . The damage they suffered made it impossible to value the hotels.

More than 75 perent of Occidental’s group of around 80 hotels are in the regions affected by hurricanes such as Emily and Wilma.


Its biggest shareholder is Spanish savings bank La Caixa with 30.5 percent, while management owns 25 percent and the Lladro, Lara and Garcia Vaquero families hold 15 percent jointly, according to the paper.

Expansion said the bidders were ultimately looking to buy the whole company and la Caixa could sell at the right price.


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