Plans for major expansion

Spanish hotel group Iberostar aims to double in size, including through the acquisition of a medium-size chain, owner Miguel Fluxá told FVW in an exclusive interview.

October 31, 2007

Iberostar, with just 32 hotels five years ago, has grown rapidly in recent years and will open its 100th property this year. But owner Miguel Fluxá has ambitious long-term growth plans to catch up on larger Spanish rivals such as Sol Meliá, Riu and Barceló. “We want to double our capacity from 100 to 200 hotels,” he said. Last year, Fluxá sold the group’s tour operator, travel agency and airline activities for €900 million to US financial group Carlyle. “We are focusing on hotels,” he declared. This simplifies the group’s portfolio by focusing on the core, higher-margin business.

Iberostar chief Miguel Fluxá and his daughters.

Although a number of new hotel openings are planned, mostly in the Caribbean and Latin America, this will not be sufficient to achieve the growth targets. Iberostar is currently looking for “a medium-sized chain which we can acquire” whose hotels would complete the Iberostar resorts, Fluxá said. These could be city hotels but also properties in Asian countries such as Thailand or Malaysia, to balance the strong presence in the Caribbean and Latin America. The acquired group would have to fit Iberostar’s quality standards and take over the brand, he made clear.

Iberostar will continue to benefit from its long-standing close links with Thomas Cook, whose acquisition of MyTravel made sense, Fluxá commented. Cook has a minority stake in the Iberostar venture running all properties outside the Caribbean, and a majority in its Spanish incoming agency. But Iberostar is also broadening its distribution to other German operators such as Rewe Touristik, developing online sales and has capacity deals with Thomson and First Choice in Britain.

Fluxá is also preparing for a “generation change” under which his daughters Sabina (27) and Gloria (26) will gradually take on more responsibility. They are currently working their way through the group’s different departments to learn how the group operates.

follow us:
© 2018 FVW Medien GmbH, all rights reserved
Legal Notice Data privacy Advertising Contact Us Terms & Conditions About Us