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Portobello Capital acquires Blue Sea


Portobello Capital enters the touristic hotel business, acquiring Blue Sea Hotels & Resorts, and thus closing its Fund III


The Spanish private equity firm, Portobello Capital, has acquired a majority stake in the holiday hotels and resorts chain Blue Sea Hotels & Resorts, which currently owns 22 hotels and is on its way to become a leader in the “value for money” segment.   
Blue Sea Hotels was founded in 2010, and operates its 22 hotels from its headquarters in Palma de Mallorca. The hotels are located in touristic areas of the country such as Mallorca, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Benidorm, Torremolinos and Costa Brava. Most of the resorts are owned (74%), while the remaining few are under rental and management schemes.
The company focuses on three and four-star hotels, and has about 3,300 rooms intended for clients looking for “value for money”. Most of the clients are foreigners.
The company’s founder, Sebastiá Catalá Santandreu, will continue to lead as CEO. Blue Sea Hotels currently has over €55m sales and an EBITDA of over €10m. Along with Portobello Capital, the company’s strategy will be to consolidate a highly-fragmented sector and to grow in number of rooms within the three and four-star hotel range to become the leader of this segment.
To fulfill its ambitious expansion plan, the company hopes to execute three new acquisitions that have already been identified. It has also begun to implement the strategic plan, concerning its new corporate image, starting the refurbishment of its establishments so they can meet the quality standards targeted. The company is also reviewing its business plan to promote direct sales through its own website.
Iñigo Sánchez-Asiaín, founding partner at Portobello Capital declared: “We see great potential in Spain’s tourism industry, and to consolidate a chain, along with Sebastiá Catalá, in the three and four-star segment, is a huge opportunity given the fragmentation we have observed in the sector. Blue Sea has a dynamic and well-structured team, which we can trust to fulfill our ambitious goal.”
Sebastiá Catalá, founder of Blue Sea Hotels & Resorts, commented: “I look forward to Portobello Capital’s entry into Blue Sea as majority shareholder, as it will enable us to grow and become a leader in our segment.”
Portobello Capital is a private equity firm and a leader in the Spanish “Middle Market,” with Assets under Management (AuM) of €1.2billion. It is managed by Íñigo Sánchez-Asiaín, Juan Luis Ramírez, Ramón Cerdeiras and Luis Peñarrocha, the founding partners.
In July 2014, Portobello Fund III raised €375 million, after acquiring Blue Sea Hotels & Resorts the fund has been totally invested, having acquired a total of nine companies: Vitalia Home (elderly care homes) sold to CVC in April this year; IAN (canned vegetables and ready meals under the Carretilla brand), EYSA (technological services and mobility solutions for cities), Iberconsa (frozen marine products), Laulagun Bearings (industrial bearings, especially for the wind energy sector), Ramón Sabater (processing and distribution of capsicums, spices and herbs), Trison (sensorial marketing) and Centauro (low cost rental vehicles), besides Blue Sea itself.
In July 2015, the first secondary fund was also closed: Portobello Secondary Fund I, which includes five companies from its Fund II: Mediterránea (catering services for hospitals, schools and businesses), Angulas Aguinaga (added-value fish products, ready-to-eat and refrigerated), Ice Cream Factory (private label ice cream producer), Multiasistencia (outsourcing of home claim management for banks and insurance companies) and GrupoUno CTC (outsourcing of marketing services, merchandising and promotional logistics).
Last week, six months after the fund-raising process began, Portobello made its first closing of the Portobello Fund IV at €500M.
Portobello Capital has been advised in this deal by: MBD, CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo and The Boston Consulting Group.
The sellers have been advised by KPMG and de Juan-Moreno Law firm in Palma de Mallorca.