Azora has raised €680m for the launch of a new fund Azora EH&L, €80m above the Fund’s initial €600m target. With a hard cap of €750m, the Fund has an implied total capacity of more than €1.5bn to invest in leisure hotel opportunities across Europe, with a significant proportion of the portfolio expected to be located in Spain, Europe’s most popular “sun & beach” destination. Commitments were signed throughout the lockdown period and demonstrate investors’ continued confidence in both the long-term performance of the tourism industry despite the impact of Covid-19, and in Azora’s ability, as a leading manager in the European leisure hotel space, to source attractive opportunities.
The Fund will focus on the “sun & beach” segment across Europe's top tourist destinations, where it will implement a value-add strategy through repositioning, refurbishment, and active asset management. In addition, the Fund will target city tourism through new and innovative “smart urban lodging” concepts, which focus on the needs of young-at-heart travellers of all ages and provide flexible accommodation setups and offerings that can be adapted in accordance with demand.
Azora has already secured a portfolio of 10 hotels comprising 2,800 keys and located in resorts on the mainland Spanish coast (7), Ibiza (2) and Sicily (1), which are managed by MedPlaya and Palladium, two of the largest Spanish hotel operators, as well as four city centre assets in Madrid, Lisbon, Brussels and Bilbao, which will be repositioned as urban lodging concepts, offering 1,200 beds in aggregate.
“This fund is a continuation of our successful strategy in the hotel segment, which began more than 10 years ago with the turnaround of Carey and which we further developed from 2014 onwards, with the build-up of the largest “sun & beach” hotel portfolio ever assembled in Europe, within our listed SOCIMI, Hispania,” said Concha Osacar, Azora’s Founding Partner. “During these extraordinary times, the level of commitments we have achieved so far for the Azora European Hotel & Lodging fund underscores the international investor community's confidence in both our ability as a manager to create value and in the ongoing potential of the European hospitality industry as an institutional asset class, regardless of the short term impact of the COVID crisis, which we also believe will result in additional opportunities over and above those envisaged in our original business plan. We are very pleased to have held such a successful launch and are proud to count on the support of such a distinguished group of top-tier global institutional investors.”