The Spanish hotel management company Sol Meliá has purchased 100% of the Croatian hotel management company Croatian Hotels and Resorts for a total of three million dollars through an agreement signed today with the Zagrebacka Banka (Bank of Zagreb).
The purchase of the company, the manager of 10 Croatian hotels and 11 bungalow, apartment and campsite complexes, will allow Sol Meliá to add a further 21 facilities to its growing portfolio and make it the leading hotel management company in Croatia.
The hotels and other facilities are located in the Istrian peninsula in the north of Croatia, one of the most popular regions in the country for international tourism, and provide a total of 6,271 rooms with 16,731 beds and campsite capacity for more than 16,000 people.
The purchase agreement has been signed today in the Bank of Zagreb headquarters in the Croatian capital by Sebastián Escarrer, Chief Executive Officer of Sol Meliá, and Franjo Lukovic, Chairman of the Bank of Zagreb, the majority shareholder of the hotels that will now be operated by Sol Meliá.
The act was also attended by the Spanish Ambassador to Croatia, Luis Felipe Fernández de la Peña, who has provided valuable support and assistance in reaching a satisfactory agreement.
For the Spanish Ambassador, the presence of Sol Meliá in Croatia “is a significant event in the history of bilateral economic relations between Spain and Croatia. It is also the first substantial investment by a Spanish company in this country”.
The Ambassador added that “it is obvious that there is enormous potential for co-operation in the tourism sector between Spain and Croatia, and that Sol Meliá has recognised the opportunities presented by the Croatian market, beginning a process which I am sure will serve as an example and a stimulus for further development.”
The management contract signed with the Bank of Zagreb has an initial duration of 15 years with an option to renew for a further five year period. The agreement also includes a commitment by the owners of the hotels involved in the agreement to carry out an investment programme in renovation over the next four years involving a total amount of 100 million German marks.
The agreement also establishes the creation of a capital reserve of an average of 5 million marks per year to carry out any improvements that are required in the hotels during the duration of the contract.
During the signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of Sol Meliá, Sebastián Escarrer stressed that “this is another important step towards the achievement of the expansion, diversification and leadership strategy of Sol Meliá in resort hotels in the Mediterranean region”.
Escarrer added that “with the purchase of Croatian Hotels and Resorts, Sol Meliá has further consolidated its leadership position, allowing us to implement our hotel management know how, technology and experience in an emerging market that presents enormous potential for growth in the coming years”.
For Escarrer “our presence in Croatia has been achieved thanks to the high level of understanding we have been able to reach with the senior management team of the Bank of Zagreb, one of Croatia’s leading financial entities, due to the confidence that they have demonstrated in Sol Meliá‘s strategic interest in this region”.
The Bank of Zagreb is the most important investment bank in Croatia, offering a wide range of products and services through a network of more than 150 offices throughout the country. With more than 1,000,000 clients, the Bank of Zagreb is amongst the leading banks in the whole of Central Europe, and in 1997 was chosen as one of the most innovative banks in Central Europe by the Wall Street Journal Europe.