Cerberus, Orion buy Spain’s Sotogrande for €225 million

The private equity firms signed a deal to buy the Spanish assets of Sotogrande, the development arm of NH Hotel Group

New York-based Cerberus Capital Management and Europe’s Orion Capital Managers have signed a deal to buy the Spanish assets of Sotogrande from its owner, NH Hotel Group. The value of the deal is €225 million, according to NH Hotel, which on Friday outlined the sale of its 96.997 percent interest to the private equity players that have both been actively investing in Spanish real estate since the 2008 financial crisis.

The Sotogrande resort near Gibraltar has been described as the largest privately owned residential development in Andalusia. According to a NH Hotel Group corporate brochure, Sotogrande has a real estate inventory including a large amount of residential property with a book value of €203.3 million and tourist assets, mainly hotels and golf courses, with a book value of €41.2 million.

The history of the complex can be traced back to the 1960s, when US businessman Joseph McMicking began to assemble plots of land along with his nephews, Jaime and Enrique Zóbel. Robert Trent Jones, the famous golf course developer, started building the Royal Golf Club of Sotogrande, and Enrique Zóbel then built a polo field.

The resort now totals 420 hectares of land with more than 678,000 square meters of buildable area. NH Hotel Group said the sale allowed it to retain management of the two hotels at Sotograbnde for two years initially.

Cerberus and Orion had been hotly tipped as the likely buyers of Sotogrande by various media reports, but NH Hotel's announcement confirmed the details. The deal does not include Sotogrande’s international development assets, being Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, Sotocaribe in Mexico and Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA in Italy.