The hotel group Bauer spa, owner of the prestigious Hotel Bauer in Venice, becomes the property of the Elliott fund, supported by its minority coinvestor the Blue Skye fund. The Bortolotto Possati family, descendant of Arnaldo Bennati, a successful Ligurian shipbuilder who bought the hotel in 1930 from the Bauer-Grünwald family, leaves the scene. Bauer is said to have been valued 400 million euros.
The group restructured 110 million euros of bank debt in default in February 2016, thanks to a complex agreement with Elliott and, as a minority investor, with Blue Skye, which had introduced new finance for another 20 million (see here a previous article by BeBeez). The transaction was carried out in the context of a debt recovery and restructuring plan drawn up on the basis of art. 67 of the Italian Bankruptcy Law and had materialized with the issue of a bond loan in two tranches (from 106 million and from 12.6 million), both listed on the Third Market in Vienna, both expiring in April 2020 with a 7% coupon and guaranteed by properties that already guaranteed bank financing, that is precisely from the well-known five-star hotel (San Marco perimeter) which is housed in an 18th-century Venetian-style building a few steps from Piazza San Marco, overlooking the Grand Canal. The bonds had been subscribed by Elliott (95%) and Blue Skye (5%). In August 2017 again Elliott with its minority coinvestor Blue Skye, had bought 75% of the share capital of Bauer, with Francesca Bortolotto Possati who remained the owner of a 25% stake.
Led by Salvatore Cerchione and Gianluca D’Avanzo, Blue Skye in 2012 had previously restructured 6 million in debt for Harry’s Bar in Venice and bought 16% of the capital of the Cipriani family holding, but above all it has already invested several times alongside by Elliott. In particular he participated with Elliott in the financing of Milan (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Blue Skye also controls the fashion brand John Richmond (see here a previous post by BeBeez).