Blackstone Begins its Conquest of Hispania by Acquiring 16.5% of its Shares

Date: April 2018…Updated June 2018

Location: Spain

Name: Hispania

Hotel Club San Miguel, Ibiza

Seller: Hispania, who own 46 Spanish hotels, with more than 13,000 rooms. In December 2017 Hispania beat Blackstone to acquire 7 Alua hotels in the Canary & Balearic Islands

Buyer: Blackstone…Blackstone’s conquest of Hispania has begun. Whilst yesterday it was rumoured that the US fund was plotting a corporate operation involving the Socimi, today the mystery was revealed to all: the group (through Bidco) has purchased 16.5% of the company managed by Azora and is preparing to launch a takeover bid for 100% of Hispania, according to a statement submitted to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The purchase by Blackstone has involved a disbursement of €315.37 million. Specifically, Blackstone has bought a package of 18.07 million shares in Hispania, equivalent to 16.56% of the share capital, at a price of €17.45 per share, which represented a discount of 5.67% on the price registered yesterday when trading of its shares was suspended (€18.50). The fund has purchased almost all of the stake held by George Soros in the Socimi, reducing his share to 0.11%.

Hispania’s share price plunged by 6.22% to €17.35 when trading was resumed after the purchase had been made public. Yesterday, at the end of the afternoon, the CNMV decided to suspend trading in Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios, which was listed at €18.50 at that point. Before the opening of today’s session, the CNMV decided to lift the suspension after the news of Blackstone’s takeover bid was revealed.

The offer will be subject to approval by the shareholders of the holding company, as a whole, of the number of shares necessary that will allow Bidco to take ownership of 50%, plus one share, of all of the shares in the company (including the shares owned by Bidco).

The deal will also be subject to approval (or to a lack of opposition by virtue of the expiry of the corresponding waiting period) by Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC).

THPT Comment: June: Spanish Reit Hispania has agreed to a €2bn buyout by private equity investor Blackstone. The move gives Blackstone a portfolio of 180,000 sq. mtrs. of offices, 650 residential dwellings and 46 hotels.

The real estate asset portfolio is currently valued at €2.81bn.

Blackstone increased its initial offer of €17.45 to €18.25 to secure agreement of the Hispania board. Hispania became the country’s first ever Reit, listing in 2014.

Hispania, said Alzette Investment, a vehicle controlled by Blackstone, has submitted a binding proposal to amend a voluntary takeover bid it launched on 12 June.

Hispania said the revised bid price per share is adequate and that the directors of Hispania will “unanimously recommend” the price to Hispania’s shareholders.

Hispania became Spain’s first-ever REIT as it joined the Spanish Stock Exchange in March 2014, with backing from a number of investors including APG, Cohen & Steers and PIMCO.

The real estate asset portfolio is currently valued at €2.81bn.

First Seen: Aura Real Estate

Update: Hotel Analyst