Mexico's FibraHotel eyes buying sunny spots to lure tourists
By Valentine Hilaire
MEXICO CITY, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Mexican hotel operator FibraHotel said on Wednesday it is looking to buy resorts and all-inclusive hotels in the coming years while shedding some under-performing properties, aiming to seize on what it described as a boom in beach travel by U.S. tourists.
Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun are among the sunny Mexican spots where the company could be making purchases, FibraHotel's investments head, Guillermo Bravo, told a news conference.
Bravo declined to disclose how many hotels the company plans to add, or on what timeline.
The firm holds 86 hotel properties in 26 states operated by international brands such as Marriott and Hilton, and aims to add more prestigious partners with the new acquisitions, he added.
The firm is also considering selling some of its buildings in urban areas in Nuevo Leon and Sonora states, citing a slower pick-up in urban tourism despite recovery from the pandemic.
FibraHotel President Simon Galante said the company would also consider expanding in northern border cities as more companies move supply chains from Asia to Latin America.
Mexico's gross domestic product for the tourism industry grew 19.3% in the second quarter from the year-ago-period, and consumption by tourists rose 21.2%, according to the national statistics agency.
FibraHotel values its portfolio at about 17 billion pesos ($881.79 million). Yet the company's debt and shares amount to just 10 billion pesos, Chief Financial Officer Edouard Boudrant said.
The company will keep distributing dividends, buy back shares and repay its debt to continue growing and reduce the difference between its value and its assets, Bravo said.
FibraHotel, which went public 10 years ago, posted record results in the third quarter, Boudrant added, as it lured in 1.2 billion pesos, aided by the returning of tourists as pandemic restrictions eased. ($1 = 19.2790 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Sandra Maler)