Värde Partners, the $12bn global alternative investment firm, has closed the acquisition of 100% of the equity of Gruppo Boscolo, the Italian luxury hotel group.
The agreement follows Värde’s acquisition of over 90% of the company’s outstanding debt from its original lenders via 9 separate transactions.
The original lending group advanced more than €350m to finance the group’s operations and included more than 20 domestic and foreign financial institutions. Värde began acquiring the debt in the secondary market in mid-2016, following multiple attempted restructurings of the company.
Gruppo Boscolo was founded in 1978 and has been controlled by the Boscolo family for close to four decades.
The hotel group will continue to own and operate 9 luxury hotels located across key cities in Italy (Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice), France (Nice), Hungary (Budapest) and the Czech Republic (Prague). As part of the transaction, the Boscolo family will retain Boscolo Tours, a domestic tour operator and Hotel Airone, a 97 room hotel in Chioggia.
“The acquisition we closed today demonstrates the value of patience coupled with creative sourcing strategies and quality execution in complex distressed situations. We spent over six months acquiring the debt from local financial institutions and another three negotiating the acquisition of the equity from the Boscolo family,” said Francisco Milone, senior managing director of Värde.
“The assets we acquired today are unique in terms of both their leading position in key tourist-driven cities and their potential for strong operating performance going forward. We intend to support that performance with additional capital and strong management. Fixing the balance sheet has provided a clear path to growth,” said Luca Malighetti, managing director in Värde’s Milan office.