Belmond Ltd. (NYSE: BEL) today announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire the entirety of Cap Juluca, a 96-key luxury resort on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, British West Indies.
The Company has entered into agreements with the principal owner and three other owners to acquire the entirety of the resort for a total purchase price, including all related taxes and costs, of approximately $84.6 million. At the same time, the Company has agreed a 250-year ground lease for property that comprises approximately 167 acres, including approximately 250,000 square feet of additional developable beachfront land. The acquisition is initially expected to be financed using cash on hand and $45.0 million of borrowings under the Company’s previously undrawn $105.0 million revolving credit facility. When the transaction closes, which is expected to be by early June 2017, Belmond will assume management of the resort, which has historically been independently managed, and will rebrand the resort as Belmond Cap Juluca.
Roeland Vos, president and chief executive officer, commented, “I am delighted to announce the addition of the legendary Cap Juluca to the Belmond portfolio. This acquisition marks an important milestone in the execution of our 2020 strategic growth plan, which includes as a central component the expansion of our global footprint. Cap Juluca, which was designed and developed by Linda and Charles Hickox, has been synonymous with barefoot luxury since it opened in 1988. The exclusive resort complements our brand by offering an authentic escape to discerning guests, increases our presence in a location where our customers already travel, and enhances our positioning in the global luxury resort market.”
Mr. Vos continued, “We believe this one-of-a-kind resort presents a compelling opportunity to build on our past experience of acquiring hotels that can be restored to iconic status through investment in the physical product and enhancement of all operational, sales, revenue management and service functions to drive greater revenue, EBITDA and brand exposure. As one of the most recognized resorts in the Caribbean, Cap Juluca is a natural fit for the Belmond portfolio and we look forward to continuing the legacy the Hickoxes created nearly 30 years ago.”
Located on one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches on the southwestern coast of Anguilla at Maundays Bay, the multiple award-winning Cap Juluca was voted the number one beach resort in the world in Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report’s 2016 readers’ choice awards. Introduced in 1988 and quickly established as one of the top resorts in the Caribbean, the property features stylish Greco-Moorish architecture spread over two crescent-shaped coves. In addition to 96 keys, the resort features four restaurants and bars; an 1,800 square-foot pool; tennis courts and fitness center; a library and private screening room; and a full complement of watersports activities.
After planning and obtaining all necessary permits in 2017, the Company expects after the end of the upcoming 2017/2018 festive season to embark upon a renovation of the existing property and develop a further 25 new beachfront keys, bringing the resort’s total inventory to 121 keys. The comprehensive renovation of the existing property is expected to include the refurbishment of all 96 existing keys; improved food and beverage concepts; upgrades to the spa; and new and renovated public areas. The Company expects to spend a combined approximate $36 million on the renovation and expansion projects, which it expects to complete by the end of 2018. Following these anticipated works, the Company’s total investment in the property is expected to be approximately $1.0 million per key.
The Company anticipates that Cap Juluca will generate adjusted EBITDA of between $12 million and $14 million following renovation and expansion and upon stabilization, and expects that the resort will start positively contributing to the Company’s adjusted EBITDA in 2019. For purposes of these calculations, the Company has ascribed no value to the additional 250,000 square feet of developable land within the resort, including opportunities for residential villa sales, all of which are permitted under its ground lease.