Sunday, 20 February 2022

Construction of Hotel Hyatt in Old Maraska Building in Zadar Finally About to Begin

February 20th, 2022 - The new hotel should have 150 rooms and suites, as well as a residential part with 115 apartments that will make up a 'mini city' complete with restaurants, bars and shops

It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that construction works are finally about to begin on the old Maraska building in Zadar. The former factory is to be transformed into a high-category Hotel Hyatt with an addition of a residential area, owned by the Turkish Dogus Group.

As reported by Slobodna Dalmacija, a source from the Dogus Group said that cleanup works are underway on the grounds of the old building, to be followed by securing the structure which is in extremely poor condition.

‘Seeing that the structure is really old and neglected, we’ll have to secure it first, and then, in ten days or so, we’ll have an official opening of the construction site where all Zadar media will be invited’, said the source, adding that everyone at the Dogus Group is looking forward to construction kicking off.

‘We’re very pleased to finally be able to announce we’re moving forward! Starting from today, there’ll be no more waiting or holdups, and we hope we’ll soon make the people of Zadar proud with the new hotel which will surely stimulate tourism on a higher level’, said the source. 

The investment is worth €120 million, and the hotel should have around 150 rooms and suites, a spa, a wellness centre, a conference hall, restaurants and bars. The development will also have a residential area with 115 apartments making up a ‘mini city’ together with restaurants, bars, shops and other attractive facilities.

Construction of the new hotel was originally supposed to begin in 2016, but was delayed due to complications in the development of the other part of the hotel complex. The Dogus Group together with Hyatt had to wait for the situation to clear up in regards to urban planning in the area around the hotel. They’re participating in the tender for Marina Zadar, and it remains to be seen if they managed to resolve the matter.

hyatt1-min.pngHyatt Zadar - Dogus Group

The Dogus Group is one of the bigger foreign investors in Croatia, namely in nautical facilities in Šibenik, Sukošan and Zadar. Representatives of the Croatian subsidiary of the Turkish group have stated once before that the company invested around 270 million euro in Croatian tourism in the ten years they’ve been doing business in Croatia.

In mid-2019, the company Crodux, formerly owned by Tankerkomerc, announced its intention to build a large development near the Maraska building, namely in the area from the Tankerkomerc administrative building to the marina of the same name. This Dogus group has confirmed this as one of the reasons for the delays in the Maraska project.

At one point, Dogus also planned to take partial ownership of Tankeromerc and merge the Maraska Hotel project with Marina Zadar, but the pre-bankruptcy settlement fell through once it turned out that Tankerkomerc wasn’t a confirmed future concessionaire of the marina and that the story was far from over.

The state will soon take possession of Marina Zadar, based on a final judgement in their dispute with Tankerkomerc that was launched about ten years ago.

Tankerkomerc believes that it should be the owner of the marina on the basis of many years of ownership, operation and investments in the facility, and the state disputes this because the marina is considered to be maritime property.

According to the latest verdict from January 2020, the marina should have been returned to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, but Tankerkomerc, which was taken over by General Ivan Čermak in the meantime, filed an appeal that has since been resolved in favour of the Ministry.

Tankerkomerc also has a dispute with the state concerning the return on their investments in the marina in the amount of €40 million.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Turks Turning Old Zadar Maraska Building into High Category Hotel

February the 18th, 2021 - The old Zadar Maraska building which is well known all over Dalmatia and the rest of the country for its representation of 500 years of tradition is soon to become a high category hotel, with construction beginning this autumn.

As Morski writes, Zadar Mayor Branko Dukic recently met with the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Turkish Dogus Group Ferit F. Sahenko and his associates. The topic of conversation was the announcement of a new cycle of Dogus Group investments in the Dalmatian city of Zadar.

The Dogus Group is well known across Croatia for its numerous previous investments, and the conversion of the old Zadar Maraska building is sure to be a topic of conversation over the coming months.

''We're close to a partnership with a strong Croatian partner. We're planning to start the first phase of the hotel's construction in the autumn of this year. We're also finalising the blueprints for the living space around the hotel. We were pleased to be able to inform Mayor Branko Dukic about the further phases of the Maraska project,'' said the regional director of Dogus Croatia, Burak Baykan.

In addition to exchanging information on current projects for the development of Zadar's tourist offer and new business opportunities, the Mayor of Zadar expressed satisfaction with the announcement of the imminent start of construction of what will become highest category hotel in Zadar when completed.

''The City of Zadar, as an extremely tourist-oriented coastal city, urgently needs hotel accommodation of the highest category. I'm looking forward to the start of work on the future hotel in the old Zadar Maraska building beginning, which will confirm the correctness of the previous efforts of our city administration to attract new investments in the field of tourism, of which, I'm convinced, will be more and more.

We must continue to invest in our infrastructure, beaches, sport and recreational facilities, the restoration of cultural attractions and everything that will lead us raise the overall quality we can boast of and expand our range of destination products. All these efforts will contribute to the reduction of seasonality and create more new jobs. Zadar lacks accommodation in high category hotels and all investors whose projects can raise the value of Zadar's tourist product are ver welcome. The coronavirus pandemic will pass, people will start travelling again and it's up to us to welcome it and be read,'' Dukic concluded.

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Thursday, 23 January 2020

Turkey's Dogus Group Sells Off Marinas in Republic of Croatia

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of January, 2020, Dogus Group, a Turkish company that is continuing the process of selling off its assets as part of its restructuring to get out of the financial issues that were caused by a significant drop in the Turkish lira, explained the move in detail.

Although Dogus Group said midway through last year that their property sale process would not cover their portfolio in Croatia, they clearly found a good buyer, and CVC VII's CVC Capital Partners fully acquired all three Croatian marinas from D-Marin, Borik, Dalmatia and Mandalina. With the acquisition of the D-Marin brand, in addition to the Croatian Dogus portfolio, a marina in Greece and the UAE was also ''settled'', but the transaction price hasn't been mentioned.

"Croatia's D-Marin marinas managed another successful year with revenue of around 16 million euros, while other Dogus Group companies operating in Croatia have performed positively and are committed to further optimising their operations and focusing on the new 2020 tourist season. We can confirm that all of D-Marin's management and operations teams, as a successful marina owner and operator, will continue to fulfill their previous tasks,'' stated Dogus Group in a response to an inquiry on the matter.

They also pointed out that the contract does not include Dogus Group hotels in Croatia, D-Resort in Šibenik and Villa Dubrovnik, and they haven't commented on speculations that this part of the portfolio is for sale in Croatia. Additionally, the fate of their Maraska project in Zadar, which in addition to the first Croatian Hotel Hyatt was supposed to have a residential part to it, remains unknown. According to CVC, all marinas in Turkey (Turgutreis, Didim and Göcek) will remain owned by the Dogus Group as long as they are operated by D-Marin.

Founded back in 1981, CVC is a leading global venture and credit fund, managing assets totaling an enormous 80.5 billion US dollars through a global network of 24 local offices across Europe, America and the Asia Pacific region. Their headquarters are in Luxembourg, and in Croatia they operated through ownership in Zagreb Brewery (Pivovara) from 2009 to 2012, and as they say on their website, they currently have no assets in Croatia.

CVC otherwise invests in companies that operate in stable, non-cyclical markets and are leaders in their respective fields, and this is their first entry into the marina business, for which they allegedly have ambitious plans.

All of these plans include Croatian D-Marin marinas, which have been marketed as a premium product. In marinas in Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro and the United Arab Emirates, D-Marin has a capacity of 8773 berths. D-Marin Dalmatia is the largest marina in Croatia and one of the largest in the entire Eastern Mediterranean region, and D-Marin Mandalina is especially suited to accommodate luxurious mega yachts. The marinas also include exclusive facilities such as the Portus Beach Club & Restaurant in D-Marin Dalmatia and the Forty Bar in D-Marin Borik.

In Croatia, D-Marin employs almost 200 people, and they are currently in the process of recruiting for the new season. It is well known that Turkish investors entered Croatia by buying the Mandalina marina, which later built the D-Resort. Mandalina was the first Croatian marina with a five anchor categorisation and the first marina designed for mega yachts. Back in 2012, they bought the Dalmatia and Borik marinas from Zdenko Zrilić and became the owners, with eleven percent, of the ACI marina chain.

For several years, Dogus Group worked to take over ACI and become a leader in the blossoming Croatian nautical business, but so far the state has not privatised the company. Circumstances in Turkey are probably the most responsible for this given the fact that just last spring, Dogus Group finally sold its stake in ACI. In the meantime, they also applied for the tender for marina Zadar, which was eventually cancelled.

Negotiations with CVC reportedly took several months to complete and Dogus Group are reportedly very happy with the buyers. According to the latest published business data, Dogus Group ended the first half of last year with a total revenue of 1.37 billion euros and an operating profit of 69 million euros, but it melted away due to depreciation at a loss of 116 million euros.

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Saturday, 31 August 2019

Dogus Group: Our Property in Croatia Isn't For Sale

As Gordana Grgas/Novac writes on the 30th of August, 2019, Turkish billionaire Ferit Sahenk, the owner of the huge Dogus holding which owns several marinas and luxury hotels in Croatia (Dogus Group Croatia), announced this week that he is ready to sell assets worth up to 800 million euros as part of a debt restructuring plan, as was reported by Bloomberg.

The Dogus Group Croatia company, as they confirmed, are not included in these sales plans.

The sale of hotels, restaurants, offices and shares of the Turkish giant, conducted this year and last year (mostly outside of Turkey), has reached about 625 million euros, according to Moody's back in May. Then the aforementioned agency lowered Dogus' corporate credit rating to Caa1 from B3, with a stable outlook. Earlier this year, Sahenk entered into a syndicated loan deal with twelve banks in Turkey to settle short-term liabilities, and as a result, it's expected that the group will continue to sell assets to reduce debt and improve liquidity.

In this week's interview, Sahenk announced that the Dogus group would lower its debt of 2.3 billion euros by the end of 2019, down to 2 billion euros, and by the end of 2020 to 1.5 billion euros, thanks to the sale of assets.

Founded back in 1951, Dogus is headquartered in Istanbul, and is an investment holding company owned by the Sahenk family, comprising more than 300 companies across a wide range of sectors, from automotive, construction and real estate, to media, tourism, hospitality and, finally, energy. Dogus has invested almost 9 billion euros in various sectors in the last ten years, with 83 percent of it related to Turkey, Sahenk said in an interview.

According to data from last year, the group employed about 35,000 people, of which about 5,000 were in the Dogus Tourism group.

The Dogus Group is usually represented in Croatia as one of the largest foreign investors in tourism, and they say that in the ten years they have been operating here, they have invested 270 million euros and employed about 350 local workers.

They did not respond to Novac's inquiry about their business results, saying that they are dedicated to operating the business of all their companies and further optimising their results, "and all of our operating Croatian companies are reporting another successful season and business year," they made sure to note.

The Turks made their first Adriatic acquisition with the D-Marin Mandalina in Šibenik, after which they took over D-Marin Dalmatia in Sukošan, one of the largest in Croatia, and then D-Marin Borik in Zadar, and at the eve of this season, the group announced the completion of a 2.5 million euro investment. They have also announced that they will start a new investment cycle in Marina Dalmacija this autumn, with a total value of 5 million euros.

The D-Marin Mandalina also includes D-Resort Šibenik, the first greenfield investment of the Dogus Group in Croatia, worth a massive 26 million euros, with a hotel and luxury villas. The Dogus Group also owns the prestigious boutique hotel Villa Dubrovnik.

As a new major project of the Dogus Group in Croatia, the old facility of the Maraska Beverage Factory in Zadar, has long been announced as an exclusive 130-room hotel - the Hyatt Regency Maraska Hotel, along with the luxury residential part, but the realisation has been stalled. It is an investment of around 100 million euros.

In response to Novac's question, they say that the Zadar project is ready, but is still awaiting the outcome of an open tender.

''Every investor, and in this case the Hyatt brand, seeks security and a clear vision for the development of the environment of the location in which they make their investment. As it's an extremely large investment, it isn't unusual for an investor to want to know what's happening in the immediate neighbourhood of his project, to make the best decision on the further development of that project,'' the stated.

They added that Dogus is one of the bidders in the tender and has a vision of developing the entire micro-location. "As a bidder, we're awaiting the outcome of the tender, believing that it will be completed in a transparent manner after five years," they said. They didn't comment on whether the start-up of this project was related to the financial restructuring of the Dogus Group.

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