A syndicate led by the Erste Bank Group won a recent tender to buy five Accor hotels in Budapest for about €80 million, David Sylberg, CFO of Accor-Pannonia Hotels Rt, told the BBJ last week.
The deal was closed in mid-October. Accor-Pannonia Hotels will lease back the buildings and continue to operate the hotels, according to the hotel operator’s earlier announcement.
The money the hotel group saves by financing the property under a sale and lease-back structure will be used to purchase or build new hotels in Central Europe, probably in Hungary, Sylberg said earlier.
Last year the Accor-Pannonia group sold the Sofitel Atrium Budapest (then called Hyatt Regency Budapest) to HVB Leasing Hungary Rt, a subsidiary of Bank Austria Creditanstalt Leasing GmbH, and operates the hotel under a 22-year lease agreement.
In March 2003, the French hotel group called for a tender to sell and lease back five Budapest hotels: Hotel Emke, Hotel Korona, Hotel Mercure Buda, Hotel Metropol, and Hotel Ibis on Ráday utca. According to court of registry files, Accor transferred ownership of the five buildings into a separate firm, which was purchased by AT Kft.
AT Kft was created as a special vehicle for the transaction, but the real owner is the tender-winning Erste Bank Group, Sylberg said.
Erste’s Hungarian leasing company, Immorent Kft, financed the deal, said Immorent Managing Director Sándor Kovács, who refused to disclose the name of the other participants of the syndicate. Press reports earlier mentioned leasing firms, real estate funds and Hungarian banks among companies taking part in the tender.