Rocco Forte Hotels has announced a strategic partnership with Fondo Strategico Italiano Spa, the Italian State-backed sovereign fund 80 per cent controlled by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and 20 per cent by Bank of Italy.
It has a paid-up share capital of €4.4 billion.
FSI will inject £60 million into Rocco Forte and Family in exchange for an equity stake of 23 per cent, valuing the enlarged equity at £260 million.
Rocco Forte Hotels has partnered with FSI because it is a strategic and long-term investor.
It has a dynamic approach to all the markets it invests in and a particular remit to help tourism grow into Italy and to this end have chosen Rocco Forte Hotels as their luxury hotels partners.
Italy is the primary tourism destination in Europe and offers huge opportunities with no significantly established hotel company in the luxury sector.
With Rocco Forte Hotels’ knowledge of Italy and FSI’s well established position there, the company can move quickly to become the first choice for luxury visitors to Italy.
The company is already at an advanced stage of discussion concerning a development in Venice and are actively pursuing projects in Milan, Naples and Sicily.
The company will continue to seek hotel representation in major cities across the world.
To this end, it is opening a hotel in Jeddah in the summer of next year; it is actively involved in a project in Shanghai; and it is exploring opportunities in New York, Paris and Madrid.
The company’s involvement with FSI will not preclude it from working with other partners on individual projects as well as with CDP, FSI’s parent, which is setting up a fund specifically to invest in the hotel sector.
Looking forward Sir Rocco Forte said: “It is our intention to at least double the size of the company in the next five years and our partnership with FSI will facilitate this quite considerably.
“Over the past six months I have got to know Maurizio Tamagnini and his team well.
“We have established an excellent working relationship which will ensure that we hit the ground running in the development of Rocco Forte Hotels.”