By 2014-07-31 InAlgarve

Vilamoura and Vale do Lobo up for sale

Two of the region’s prime-location luxury tourist developments are up for sale – but details are scarce. No one close to the deals seems prepared to say anything. All that is known for certain, according to Portuguese daily newspaper Diário Económico, is that the 2000-hectare Vilamoura resort already has a buyer (or buyers) – and there are five investors “short-listed” for a purchase deal at 450-hectare Vale do Lobo.

Portuguese bank CGD (Caixa Geral de Depósitos) – which has a 25% holding in Vale do Lobo – refuses to be drawn on developments but seems certain to be keen to recoup as much of its capital as possible.

According to Diário Económico, it sunk €300 million into the development in a process that started in 2006.

For now, it is understood that the deadline for CGD to decide on any sale has been extended to the end of this week/early next “to give investors time to fine-tune their proposals”. In May, Expresso newspaper reported that interest has come from European, Asian and North American investors, and that “partners” in the CGD holding “are associated to the Grupo Espírito Santo”.

“We will not comment,” a spokesperson for Vale do Lobo told the Resident on Wednesday when asked to confirm the news reports.

Vale do Lobo was the first development in the Algarve, founded in 1962.

In the case of Vilamoura, management company Lusort, which is owned by Spanish group Catalunya Caixa Inmobiliaria, has confirmed that “a sale of the group’s companies is underway” but will not elaborate.

Lusort will not even confirm the nationality of the buyer/s, writes DE, which leads to questions of whether these could be Chinese or Russian.

Known for its luxury projects in Vilamoura – including the Cidade Lacustre development which the Resident reported on in April – Lusort could soon be changing hands … again.

In 2005, property and golf developer André Jordan had sold the formerly-called Lusotur to the Spanish group Prasa, which took over the marina, hotel and property sections. The golf assets were sold in 2007 to the Oceânico group.

Tourism boss predicts “historic” year for sector

Meantime, President of Turismo de Portugal, João Cotrim de Figueiredo, has predicted that 2014 will be an historic year for Portugal’s tourist sector. “We are full of confidence,” he told journalists after the release of figures for tourist occupation in May. “For the first time, all the figures were up on previous years – particularly in the markets where we have gone in for touristic promotion. This means we are establishing a base from which growth will not merely be a conjecture.”

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