• Baglioni sells stake to private equity

Luxury Italian chain Baglioni has sold a 40% stake to private equity outfit Sator for Eu30m.

The 14-strong Baglioni, mostly in Italy but with properties in London and France, wants to use the cash to expand beyond Europe.

The man running Sator is Matteo Arpe, who rose to prominence as CEO at Capitalia before leaving last year after it was bought by Unicredit for Eu22bn in a deal that created Europe's second largest bank.

The Baglioni investment is the first for the new fund which is half-owned by Arpe. Baglioni will still be 60% controlled by the Polito family with Roberto Polito remaining as chairman. Arpe and another Sator representative are joining the Baglioni board.

The new cash is expected to help double the number of hotels via both management contracts and direct acquisitions. The group already has management agreements for properties in Budapest, Dubai and Marrakesh. Deals in Mumbai and Sri Lanka are close.

Prior to Capitalia, Arpe used to work for Lehman. And Lehman was one of the investors in Arpe's new fund.

The press release announcing the Baglioni deal said that the aim was to eventually seek a stock market listing. In addition "joint real estate initiatives in new markets with the objective of developing an integrated approach to both properties and hotels management are also envisaged".

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