The Spanish group has put the 412-room property on the market for between €150m and €200m in order to generate more liquidity. The operation would consist of a sale and lease-back and would be followed by the sale of the NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calderón. Meliá Hotels International seems to be following the same path.
NH Hotel Group has announced the sale of one of its upscale assets in Madrid: the NH Collection Eurobuilding, located next to the Paseo de la Castellana and the Santiago-Bernabéu Stadium. This four-star hotel offers 412 rooms, 32 multifunctional rooms, a gym and a restaurant, a cocktail bar with terrace, a Sushi Bar and the only three-star Michelin restaurant in Madrid, DiverXO, all spread over 15 floors.
The sale is expected to be worth between 150 and 200 million euros, and would consist of a sale and lease-back transaction, so that the group would continue to operate its iconic Madrid establishment. In fact, this financial strategy decision follows the Spanish group's desire to improve its liquidity in the context of the economic and health crisis. In 2020, the group recorded losses of €371 million and a fourfold increase in debt. The financial difficulties are such that 187 workers at the head office could be affected by a redundancy plan (Spanish Expediente de Regulación de Empleo).
This sale and lease-back operation could be followed by other actions of the same type to put the group's liquidity back on track, and no establishment seems to be exempt. This is certainly the case for the five star NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calderón in Barcelona. This 255-room upscale hotel, renovated in 2008 and located just off the renowned Rambla Cataluña, could be next on the list of assets to be sold on lease-back.
However, NH Hotel Group does not appear to be the only Spanish hotel group to face financial difficulties of this kind. Indeed, Meliá Hotels International is also considering the sale of some of its assets to improve its liquidity and reduce its debt. The group's results justify this strategic direction, with Meliá recording a loss of €130.9m in the first quarter of 2021 (compared to a profit of €79.7m in the same period in 2019).