As reported by Digitaljournal.com, Belmond Ltd. today announced that it has acquired Castello di Casole, a luxury resort and estate in Tuscany, Italy. The Company purchased from the current owner the entire equity capital of two entities that together own Castello di Casole, one of the largest private real estate properties in Tuscany. The purchase price, including transaction costs, is approximately €39 million ($48 million) with a possible further €2.85 million ($3.5 million) payable contingent upon certain real estate sales being realized.
The property is the latest addition to Belmond’s family of ‘Italian Icons’, which includes Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice and Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino. Located within easy access of both Florence and Siena, the resort and estate span 1,500 hectares and comprise the 39-key Castello di Casole hotel, together with high-quality vineyards and olive groves, extensive wooded Tuscan countryside, and 48 residential plots, of which 16 remain for sale, with three subject to non-binding reservation letters of intent to purchase.
Roeland Vos, president and chief executive officer, commented, “I am delighted to announce the addition of the stunning and historic Castello di Casole to the Belmond portfolio. The Belmond brand continues to gain momentum and this acquisition marks the latest step in our journey towards realizing our strategic growth plan. The expansion of our global footprint is a central component of our strategy to double the Company’s EBITDA by 2020. Castello di Casole complements our existing Italian portfolio of iconic hotels in Italy, with many of our discerning guests already traveling from Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence to this authentic rural hideaway in Tuscany.”
Awarded Best Hotel in Europe 2017 by Travel & Leisure (US), the historic castle dates from the 10th Century and was once owned by acclaimed Italian cinematographer Luchino Visconti, synonymous with Italy’s ‘Golden Age of Cinema.’
Starting in 2018, the Company expects to invest €7.3 million ($9.0 million) in a phased refurbishment of the hotel over four years, including the addition of two new villas on two residential plots that will be retained, bringing the resort’s total key count to 41. In addition, the Company expects to sell the remaining 14 land plots, including the three that are subject to reservation letters, over the coming years, effectively reducing the Company’s net investment in the estate.