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April 17, 2012

QIA to acquire Sardinian hotel group

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has signed an agreement to acquire Sardinia-based Smeralda Holding, which has a portfolio of four luxury hotel resorts on the Costa Smeralda, Italy.

By admin-demo

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has signed an agreement to acquire Sardinia-based Smeralda Holding, which has a portfolio of four luxury hotel resorts on the Costa Smeralda, Italy.

Qatar Holding, the fund’s investment arm, has entered into an agreement with Colony Capital, the US-based real estate investment firm that owns Smeralda.

The hotel portfolio of Smeralda comprises of four luxury hotels with a total of 372 rooms, including the Cala di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, Hotel Romazzino and the Cervo Hotel.

The deal also reportedly includes Porto Cervo Marina, which hosts the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, as well as the Porto Cervo Shipyard and the Pevero Golf Club.

Smeralda’s other assets include a 51% interest in 2,290ha of undeveloped land and other real estate in the region.

Ahmad Mohamed al-Sayed, Qatar Holding’s managing director and chief executive officer, said that the company is happy to have agreed terms for the acquisition of an established portfolio of luxury assets in Sardinia.

"We intend to continue supporting the ongoing development programme, which will see Costa Smeralda strengthen its position as one of the world’s top resort destinations," al-Sayed said.

Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, commenting on the acquisition during a news conference in Rome, said: "We have invested in Sardinia, given the importance of the area."

Post-acquisition, which is subject to the receipt of antitrust approval from Italian competition authorities, the existing management team of Smeralda will remain in place and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide will continue to manage the hotel resorts.

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