The following is a copy of an article published on Miami Herald on May 28, 2021. The full article can be found here
- With the latest acquisition of Villa Marina in Puerto Rico, Grand Caribbean Marinas will consolidate more than 2,200 slips in the US.
- The holding company thus crowns a decade of investments in the country, mainly in the state of Puerto Rico, where it also has investments in one of the leading companies in Car Parking, Marking US Park.
Grand Caribbean Marinas, belonging to the Bacalia Group holding company, completed the acquisition of Villa Marina in Puerto Rico, thus accumulating more than 2,200 spaces (between wetslips and dry storage) that position it among the five companies that own and operate Marinas with the most slips in the United States and the largest in the Caribbean.
The president and founder of Bacalia Group, the Italian businessman Giuseppe Cicatelli, comments that this operation is of great importance for the holding, because “we have been operating for several years with the Group in Puerto Rico and we have always believed that it would be natural to continue within our strategy expansion as a regional consolidator. As a result of acquiring and consolidating new assets at the State level, we have achieved importance at the US federal level in an industry that we consider very promising, which is the nautical industry.”
For Cicatelli, 2020 has been decisive for the recreational nautical industry, since “the phenomenon of the pandemic has contributed to the rebound in domestic tourism within the United States. In other cases, beyond domestic tourism, it has contributed to the relocation of Americans from one state to another, such as Florida and Puerto Rico, both with similar dynamics.”
Finally, the potential of this market was highlighted, which “allows associating a business with solid cash flow and incredibly resilient to economic cycles with the upside of real estate. This industry has historically been very fragmented and subject to a consolidation process only in the last 3-4 years. The trends during the pandemic era have accelerated this consolidation process and the Safe Harbor public transaction in the second half of 2020 has in my opinion been a turning point for everyone. We understand that we are at the beginning of a cycle of strong growth at the fundamentals of the industry, which is evidenced by the growing and marked interest of institutional groups such as public REITS.”
The strong commitment of Grand Caribbean Marinas, which plans to take the investment from $ 50 to $ 100 million in the next 5 years, seeks to diversify the offer in Puerto Rico, implementing a series of experiences that enrich the tourism and recreational development of the Caribbean state.
Renaissance Villa Marina
Jorge Rodriguez, CFO of Grand Caribbean Marinas, adds that “The acquisition of Villa Marina is very representative of our expansion strategy. It is one of the best marinas in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and we have incorporated an investment plan to improve it substantially “
Villa Marina, now renamed Renaissance Villa Marina and located about 40 minutes from the capital of Puerto Rico, has the only covered Dry Stack on the island, which will be completely remodeled. It will have a private entrance, an exclusive private launch and a VIP service to take the boat owner experience to the next level. Also, the marina has its own Boatyard, which will operate the maintenance and repair of ships up to 100 feet for the entire Grand Caribbean Marinas complex. In addition, a complete modernization of its security systems will be carried out in all the marina facilities to give greater peace of mind to its residents.
Grand Caribbean Marinas is part of the Bacalia Group, a business group that operates subsidiaries in different sectors in the US and Latin America.