KSL Wins the Bidding for Croatia’s Sunce Hotels

Main Photo: The Bluesun Hotel Alga, Tucepi, Makarska Rivieria

Date: February 2021

Location: Mostly in Dalmatia, Croatia

Name: Bluesun Hotels – Sunce Hotels

No. of Keys: 13 hotels – xx Keys

Seller: Jako Andabak, a colourful character and major player in the travel business in Croatia.

After selling his insurance company, he invested in tourism by acquiring Hotel Zlatni, Hotel Brela and Hotel Tučepi in around 2006. Mr. Andabak is the founder and was the Chairman of the Management Board of Sunce Koncern, a company that unites hotels in Croatia under incorporated brand of Bluesun Hotels & Resorts (15 hotels in 6 destinations).

He has been highly involved in developing business in other industries, such as wine making, and founded Jako vino d.o.o. in 2009 which, in a short period of time became one of the leading Croatian wine brands. He founded the insurance company Izvor in 2010. In 2014. he founded his new company, Sunčane Toplice and entered a large project of reconstruction and rebuilding of Bizovačke toplice, soon after, along with large investments, the Aquapark was renewed, the new Special Hospital was built, and future plans included total renovation of the hotel.

Another important project that Mr Andabak initiated is the reconstruction of famous hotel Jadran in Tučepi, that is now one of the most exclusive hotels in Croatia. He is also the founder and owner of the companies dealing with  agriculture and forestry. 

Buyer: Investor KSL Capital Partners has won the bidding for Croatia’s Sunce Hotels. The move gives KSL ownership of 13 holiday hotels in the country.

The portfolio is largely under the Bluesun banner, which previously block sold much of its accommodation to Thomas Cook. Local partner Valamar Riviera is to manage the properties.

The travel company Sunce Hotels and facilities operating under the Bluesun brand was bought from Jake Andabaka by the American investment company KSL Capital Partners, which will entrust the management of the facilities to Valamar Riviera. So far, there are no official confirmations of the transaction that was reportedly concluded in mid-December 2020. The Sun said that they had no comments, noting that they would contact us if there was information with which they could go public.

The sale of Andabak’s hotel portfolio, which is mostly located in Dalmatia, has been rumoured for some time, as well as the fact that the company was in financial trouble even before the corona crisis. News broke last summer that they were being taken over by a Singapore fund, but that did not materialize. KSL Capital Parners allegedly chose Valamar to be a local partner in the Croatian market.

The Sunce hotel portfolio consists of 11 hotels and one camp, as well as the TUI Blue Jadran hotel, which operates through a joint company, and is also majority owned by Brač Airport.

KSL Capital owns the largest U.S. travel company, Apple Vacations, which they took over in 2016, and the luxury hotel group AMResorts, which operates in Spain, the United States and Mexico. Their portfolio includes more than 60 hotels and resorts globally. According to Poslovni.hr, senior vice president of KSL, Martin Edsinger, spoke about the company’s intention to invest in Croatia at the Adria Hotel Forum in Belgrade, held before the pandemic.

THPT Comment: KSL is rapidly becoming a major player in the hotel space, and with their Apple Vacations business in the US, this play in Croatia makes sense. Mr Andabak is clearly a very entrepreneurial chap and fore-founder of tourism in Croatia.

First Seen: CIJ Europe

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