BlackRock Real Assets to Acquire Pan-European Hostel Operator Amistat International

Main Photo: Reception at an Amistat Hostel

Date: July 2019

Location: Barcelona, Ibiza and 6 in the pipeline

Name: Amistat Hostels

No. of Keys: TBA

Seller: Amistat….the Amistat portfolio comprises three seed assets in Barcelona and Ibiza, in addition to an active pipeline of another six assets in key European cities.

Frank Orenstein, CIO and Partner at Amistat, comments, “We see Amistat as a pioneering lifestyle brand that offers stylishly-designed, safe and tech-infused social hubs aimed at experience-hungry youth travellers of the 21st century.

In our hostels, we are offering shared and private rooms, both with en suite bathrooms, bars, dining/cooking areas, work spaces, chill-out zones, high-tech connectivity and engaging activity programmes. For the young travellers, the ‘living like a local’ experience is gaining more and more importance.”

Buyer: Thomas Mueller, European Head of Value-Added Real Estate at BlackRock, comments, “This transaction presents an opportunity to gain early-mover access into an increasingly institutional but under-supplied asset class. The demand profile for hostels is particularly appealing given the lack of quality, modern stock in the market, which is characterised by fragmented ownership and very low brand penetration.”

Christie & Co provided support to Blackrock on the deal.

A comprehensive market research report covering investment trends in the hostel sector at a pan-European level and recent appetite from capital markets and a detailed study of the demand for hostels in European cities, and a review of the Amistat brand positioning, guest profile, operating structure and development potential in the context of the current competitive environment.

Olivia Chaplin, Director at Christie & Co comments, “Our presence in multiple cities across Europe, extensive expertise in the alternatives sector and our one-team approach mean that we can be at the same time close to our clients wherever they choose to go and close to the investment and operating environment in the local markets. In this case, the success was based on a close collaboration between our offices in Barcelona and London.

“On a wider note, we expect to see more investment in this space via acquisitions, JVs and partnerships with existing concepts. Whilst many entrepreneurs have developed successful concepts across Europe with solid fundamentals in terms of growing guest appetite for this kind of product and experience and good roll-out potential, at some stage additional capital becomes fundamental to rapid international expansion. The time is now right to find those sources of capital given the appetite from many investors in the alternative accommodation space.”

Price: We believe it is a €100m JV between Blackrock and Amistat

THPT Comment: Hostels have come a long since YHA started in 1930 and Bryan Duffy made them trendy in 2000, when he started the first Generator Hostel in London. When Blackrock enter the sector, you know it’s serious!

First Seen: Christie & Co website

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