Tivoli hotels’ “sale-of-the-century” at risk after new Espírito Santo insolvency

What would have been one of the sales-of-the-century – the purchase of Portugal’s Tivoli hotel chain by Thai conglomerate Minor – could now be in the balance as yet another bastion of the Espírito Santo empire has declared insolvency.

Espírito Santo Hotéis had been hoping for special government PER funding – a structure for revitalising at-risk companies deemed economically viable.

As Observador website explained last month, the Thai group’s purchase offer for 12 hotels in Portugal was dependent on PER funding being made available.

Thus, unless something changes fast, the deal would appear to be off.

According to Expresso, Espírito Santo Hotéis – the “holding group” that controls the Tivoli chain – owes a total of around €106 million, with Montepio Bank saddled with over half this debt (€60 million).

Earlier this year, Minor bought four of Portugal’s Tivoli outlets, along with another two in Brazil, for €168 million.

The group that operates global brands like the Marriott and Four Seasons had shown interest in the remaining 12 Tivoli hotels, saying if PER funding was made available they would be able to secure the 1,000 jobs involved.

Now the future depends on an insolvency plan that will need to be elaborated by creditors at a special assembly in September, explains Expresso.

[email protected]