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Azure Hotels acquires Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg  

Azure Hotels, the European hotel investor and operator, has acquired the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg from Invesco, in one of the largest single asset hotel transactions in Germany in 2015. Azure has also agreed a 35-year lease extension with the City of Hamburg, the ground lease holder, as part of a deal which also enables the €194 million renovation of the Congress Center Hamburg and the surrounding area.

The hotel already benefits from its close proximity to the convention centre (CCH) and Azure Hotels has enabled the City of Hamburg to progress plans for a total refurbishment of the CCH by agreeing a reconfiguration of the public realm and parking areas around the hotel. The refurbishment, which is expected to be completed in 2019, will make it one of the largest convention centres in Europe, with 12,000 sqm of exhibition space, 12,000 sqm of foyer space and 12,000 seats in up to 50 halls.  

At 108 metres high, the Radisson Blu is the tallest hotel in Hamburg and the second tallest building in the city with 27 floors housing 556 rooms. The hotel is 20 minutes from Hamburg airport and is just 100 metres away from Dammtor railway station, one of the city’s main high-speed InterCity train terminals. The hotel is located adjacent to the city's botanical gardens and with views of Lake Alster giving it one of the most enviable locations in Hamburg.  

Azure Hotels previously acquired the hotel in 2007, then sold it to Invesco in 2009 following a €57 million refurbishment – one of the largest seen at a European hotel – funded and undertaken by Azure Hotels.  

Azure Hotels has invested in more than 60 hotels over the past decade, through transactions totalling more than €1.5 billion and is seeking to grow its portfolio across Europe further. The company’s development model is differentiated from other hotel investors and operators by the combination of funding, refurbishment, management, leasing, marketing and cost efficiency programmes for its portfolio hotels, resulting in transformed properties with improved net operating income and asset values.  Azure Hotels has established partnerships with many of the world’s pre-eminent hotel brands and has long had a presence in Germany, having developed, managed or operated the Regency Hyatt and Hilton in Mainz, the Hotel Indigo & Holiday Inn in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Hotel Elb Residence in Hamburg,  ONE80° Hostels in Berlin and the Mercure Hotel in Krefeld. Germany is a region of strategic focus for Azure Hotels and is anticipated to remain a core part of its investment portfolio.  

John Nielsen, Deputy CEO and head of operations for Azure Hotels, commented: “This transaction marks Azure Hotels’ re-engagement with the city of Hamburg and represents an unusual opportunity to add value to an asset that we have previously refurbished and improved.  That history with the hotel means that we acutely understand the property and the opportunities to enhance both guest experience and asset value.  

“Hamburg is a thriving, exciting and evolving city.  With the investment into the area from the City of Hamburg and with its ongoing bid to host the 2024 Olympics, its position as a business and cultural centre is set to grow further in the coming years and we look forward to playing our part in enhancing the fabric of this great city.”

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