Azora buys two urban hostels to grow its hospitality portfolio

Azora has added to its growing European hospitality portfolio. The Madrid-based real asset investor has acquired two urban hostels, in Dublin and Barcelona, marking its entry into the Irish market.

Concha Osácar, Founding Partner, Azora

“This acquisition represents a rare opportunity to acquire an urban portfolio in two attractive destinations which benefit from strong domestic and international tourism,” said Concha Osácar, founding partner, Azora. “The transaction also provides us with the chance to continue consolidating our urban hostels portfolio as a key part of our wider hospitality strategy through the entry into important new markets such as Ireland.”

The two urban hostels, Jacobs Inn Dublin and Jacobs Inn Barcelona, add a combined 85 keys and 557 beds to Azora’s 12,000-key hospitality portfolio, which is spread across 41 assets. The two assets have been acquired on behalf of its Azora European Hotel and Lodging Fund (AEHL), through a transaction with a fund managed by BlackRock.

Urban hostels are a key target for Azora’s hospitality strategy, which aims to “combine the comforts and facilities of 4-star hotel service with the atmosphere, vibrancy and social interaction offered by a premium hostel.”

Both hostels will be operated by Latroupe, a pan-European hostel operator created by Azora’s hospitality fund that currently operates three assets and 700 beds spread throughout Madrid, Bilbao, and Brussels.

Latroupe was created in 2021 and manages a hostel portfolio comprising three assets in Madrid, Bilbao, and Brussels, all located in the city centre, with a combined 700 beds. This transaction will broaden the platform’s European footprint and add over 550 beds to its portfolio.  The company plans to continue expanding the portfolio of hostels it operates in other European cities.

Since 2011, Azora has focused on hospitality and leisure. It has acquired over 100 hotels and 26,000 hotel keys and invested over €3 billion in the hospitality sector. Azora’s strategy targets high-quality hotels, urban hostels and businesses that may need active management and repositioning, where it partners and works hand in hand with leading operators.

Azora launched AEHL, its first private equity fund for hospitality, in 2021, with €815 million in capital. Since then, AEHL has invested into the vacation hotel segment in major European destinations with a value-add strategy based on asset transformation and active management of hotel operations. More recently, the fund has also begun to utilise an alternative hotel strategy for urban tourism aimed at travellers of all ages.

“The transaction highlights Latroupe’s ambition to keep growing and adding new assets to the platform across some of the most consolidated European destinations,” said Carlos Cano, Latroupe’s managing director. “We are actively seeking new investment opportunities through the purchase of existing assets and through management agreements with property owners who want to leverage on Latroupe’s technology and know-how to grow their business.”