GIC buys majority stake in Sani/Ikos, valuing the Greek resort group at $2.2b

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has entered into an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the Mediterranean luxury resort Sani/Ikos Group for €2.3 billion ($2.2 billion), per a corporate announcement.

Offloading their stakes to GIC and making exits through the deal are NYSE-listed wealth manager Oaktree Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the UK-based investment firm Moonstone, family office-backed Florac, and Federated Hermes’s private equity arm Hermes GPE.

Sani/Ikos Group was formed from the merger of the family-owned Sani Resorts in Greece and Ikos Resorts in 2015.

Andreas Andreadis — a second-generation heir of Sani Club, which was founded by his father Anastasios Andreadis, will remain as co-CEO and co-managing partner — alongside the ex-Oaktree veteran Mathieu Guillemin.

The deal is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter of 2022 subject to regulatory approval.

GIC appears undeterred by the dry season in business trips to Europe, which has been plaguing the hospitality industry since the pandemic hit. Fitch Ratings in August this year revised Sani/Ikos Group’s outlook to Negative from Stable, while affirming the hotel operator’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B-‘.

However, governments are increasingly easing COVID-induced travel restrictions leading to hopes of a revival for the sector.

“We are pleased to partner the Sani/Ikos Group as they continue their efforts to strengthen their brand and expand their presence in Europe,” said Lee Kok Sun, chief investment officer of real estate, GIC.

“The group’s assets are well-located and the team is known for providing excellent hospitality experiences. We believe this investment will generate resilient returns and is testament to our confidence in the Greek and wider European tourism sector over the long term.”

Under the brand names of Sani Resort & Ikos Resorts, the group currently owns and operates over 2,700 rooms across 10 unique resorts in Greece and Spain.

Last week, GIC joined forces with Blue Oak Capital’s real estate private equity unit to acquire the commercial real estate investment trust Store Capital in a $14 billion take-private deal. It has also “secured four additional projects (in excess of 1,600 rooms) for further expansion of the Ikos brand in Greece (Corfu & Crete), Spain (Mallorca) and Portugal (Algarve) opening from 2023-2025,” according to its website.

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