Varde Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to sell a portfolio of eight luxury hotels operating under The Dedica Anthology brand to Covivio, a European real estate operator, through its subsidiary Covivio Hotels. The portfolio comprises eight luxury full-service independent hotels with an aggregate of over 1,100 rooms located in the major tourist destinations of Rome, Nice, Budapest, Prague, Florence and Venice. The enterprise value of the transaction is approximately €600m.
Varde began buying the debt of the company in 2016 through a complex series of transactions, ultimately acquiring 100% of the equity in 2017. The company has since taken a number of steps to transform the business through its value creation plan. In 2018 the hotels were re-branded The Dedica Anthology.
“At the time we acquired the business it was in severe financial difficulty and facing an uncertain future,” said Francisco Milone, Partner and Head of European Real Estate at Varde Partners. “Having appointed a best-in-class management team, together we have rebuilt trust with the company’s financial partners allowing us to refinance the business and execute an ambitious investment programme. Our real estate investment strategy targets opportunistic and value-add investments across commercial and residential markets, and we continue to explore opportunities in the Italian market.”
Stephen Alden, Chief Executive Officer of The Dedica Anthology, said: “The luxury hotel industry is changing rapidly in response to evolving customer preferences and increasing demand from travellers with a more millennial mind-set. Our investment strategy, including a major renovation programme across the portfolio, is designed to capture the full potential of our collection of iconic hotels. We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Värde Partners and look forward to the future as the portfolio embarks on an exciting new phase of its journey.”
Upon closing Covivio will have full ownership of the property portfolio, which will be operated under the brands NH Collection, NH Hotels and Anantara. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020, subject to closing conditions. The eight hotels included in the transaction are:
- Rome – Palazzo Naiadi
- Nice – Plaza Nice
- Budapest – New York Palace
- Budapest – New York Residence
- Prague – Carlo IV
- Florence – Palazzo Gaddi
- Venice – Grand Hotel Dei Dogi
- Venice – Hotel Bellini