NH Hoteles is buying out the 20.9% of tourism property development company Sotogrande it does not already own in a move that has only increased bid speculation surrounding the Spanish hotelier.
Bank Caja Madrid is swapping its 17.3% stake in Sotogrande for new shares in NH giving it a further 5% holding and making it a 10% holder overall. But Barcelona’s Hesperia hotel chain remains the largest shareholder with a stake of more than 21% and is widely tipped to have another pop at NH.
Since the start of the year, NH’s share price has risen by a third, fuelled largely by takeover speculation. Apart from Hesperia, Barcelo is usually put forward as a possible buyer although this Spanish rival to NH has taken the unusual step of formally denying it has any intention of bidding.
This followed speculation in the Spanish press linking it to a bid in conjunction with property developer Fadesa.
Also helping to boost NH’s share price has been its re-entry into the Ibex35, the index of Spain’s largest capitalised companies, from August 17.