At the closure of 1999 Sol Meliá has invested or in some cases committed, a total of 100,623 million pesetas - 604.75 million Euro - in the acquisition of 34 hotels in France, United Kingdom, Spain, Morocco, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela, as well as in the refurbishment of its hotels.
These operations, some of which correspond to projects under construction, are included in the course of action initiated by the group after the merger with Inmotel and the tender offer over Meliá Inversiones Americanas (MIA), based on the purchase of up to a 100% stake of the property of some of the establishments acquired by the company.
The development of these projects, most of them consequence of the financial reinforcement due to the merger with Inmotel and the tender offer over MIA, confirm that the company has accomplished its goal in terms of expansion announced in the beginning of the year, resulting in the fact that the group is present in the main European cities such as London, Paris, Brussels, Rome and Milan having consolidated, at the same time, its leading presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Meliá Caribe hotel was announced as a management contract on January 27th together with the construction of the Meliá Tropical hotel, both included in the Palma Real complex project.
The Company has finally decided to own the Meliá Caribe hotel according to the new profile of the company. In turn, the Meliá Lima hotel was announced on March 4th ,1998 as a 20% stake investment. The company has decided to increase that stake to 60%.
According to the last figures supplied by the Ministry of Trade, the number of companies merged in Spain during 1999 raised to 64% in relation to 1998. The main reason that justifies these processes is the necessity of acquiring a larger size to compete in the international markets. This trend to consolidation is similar in the rest of developed countries.
Despite the fact that the company still develops its management business -opening the Meliá Brussels, Meliá Confort Buenos Aires and Meliá Sancti Petri of a total of 12 management contracts incorporated in 1999 -, it has also strengthened its property business.
The company believes that the diversified and profitable growth achieved in both management and property business, as well as the good profit forecasted in 1999, is going to add more value to the shareholders that have trusted in the company. Over a total of 23 analysis firms, 17 recommend to buy, 5 to hold and just 1 to sell.
The net debt to market capitalisation is, up to September 1999, 16,6%. Sol Meliá has, at the moment, more than 365 hotels in 27 countries.