GIC buys majority stake in Mediterranean luxury resorts group as travel recovers

BENGALURU – Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, one of the world’s biggest investors, has bought a majority stake in Sani/Ikos Group (SIG) in a deal that values the Mediterranean luxury resorts operator at 2.3 billion euros (S$3.2 billion), both companies said in a joint statement on Thursday (Sept 22).

The deal comes as travel recovers in Europe as Covid-19 curbs ease, despite risks of high inflation and the war in Ukraine. In 2022, bookings at SIG’s resorts jumped 52 per cent compared with 2021, and were 57 per cent higher versus 2019, according to the statement.

Since it was established in 2015, SIG has grown to own and operate over 2,750 rooms and suites spread across 10 resorts in Greece and Spain, according to the statement. It is expanding further in Greece, Spain and Portugal, and is aiming to continue developing its brands of resorts in Greece and abroad.

“The group’s assets are well-located and the team is known for providing excellent hospitality experiences,” Lee Kok Sun, chief investment officer of real estate at GIC, said. “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.”

GIC is buying the stake from investors that include Oaktree Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and UK-based Hermes GPE as part of the transaction that is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, the statement said. It did not disclose the price of the stake.

Andreas Andreadis and Mathieu Guillemin will continue to manage SIG as CEOs and co-managing partners, while Stavros Andreadis will become honorary chairman of the group, according to the statement. All three individuals remain significant shareholders alongside GIC, according to the statement.

This partnership will help the resort group to deliver on its five-year investment plan of over 900 million euros and create jobs in the Mediterranean, the joint statement said. REUTERS