The Dedica Anthology, a Milan-based hotel group owned by Värde Partners - has received a €337 mln loan from Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies to refinance legacy loans and provide additional capital to invest in its estate.
The transaction represents one of the largest bond financings by an alternative debt provider ever in the Italian real estate market. It also marks the expansion of Blackstone's whole loan lending business into Southern Europe.
Launched in 2018, The Dedica Anthology is a new brand in luxury hôtellerie based on a portfolio of distinctive hotels in Italy and across Europe.
The platform stems from Värde's acquisition last year of the Boscolo hotel group in Italy for €500 mln, including €150 mln of equity. The package included nine hotel properties in Rome (pictured), Venice, Florence, Nice, Budapest and Prague.
The owners were in breach of covenants on a €320 mln loan provided by 23 banks including Unicredit, Mps, Banco Popolare and Bnp Paribas. Värde also acquired the bulk of the loans from some of the lenders at a discount to face value.
Stephen Alden, CEO of The Dedica Anthology, commented: 'Our focus is now fully on building The Dedica Anthology brand, carrying out strategic renovation and restoration work on our distinctive properties, strengthening our team and growing our business.'
Alessandro Grassivaro, CFO of The Dedica Anthology, added, 'Dedica now has a firm financial foundation from which to invest in our real estate and build a successful brand for the future, both as owner as well as operator.'
Francisco Milone, partner and head of European real estate at Värde Partners, said: 'Since completing the purchase of Gruppo Boscolo in April 2017 we have put in place a new management team and rebranded the hotels to The Dedica Anthology throughout Italy, France, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Now with that strong management in place, a restructured balance sheet and a supportive and expert lender in Blackstone, the company is well-positioned for growth.'
Michael Zerda, managing director and head of Europe for Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, commented: 'We are thrilled to have Värde as a valued new client and we’re excited to be a part of their repositioning of this iconic portfolio of hotels. We regularly provide speed and certainty for owners of large and complex multi-jurisdictional portfolios across the globe, and are proud to expand our whole loan lending business into Southern Europe in such a meaningful way.'
London-based real estate specialist JLL advised Värde Partners on the transaction.