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La Caixa sell Port Aventura shares

Source: El Pais - Mon 5th Nov 2012
La Caixa sell Port Aventura shares

Spanish savings bank La Caixa said Monday it had taken its capital out of the Port Aventura theme park near Tarragona in northeastern Spain that it helped found.

It said its investment arm Criteria CaixaHolding had sold its 50% holding in the park to the investment fund Investindustrial for 105 million. Investindustrial is now sole owner of Port Aventura, which was set up 18 years ago, with La Caixa as one of its core shareholders.

Investindustrial has now invested 100 million in taking full control of the theme park. Since the investment fund entered its shareholders' structure at the end of 2009, Port Aventura has spent a further 180 million in new attractions, hotels and a convention center.

Port Aventura plans to invest a further 75 million over the next few years to further expand the theme park, its hotel complexes and water park. Almost 40% of visitors to Port Aventura are foreigners. It received 3.7 million visits last year and made a profit of 12 million.

Criteria remains the 100% owner of the company that owns Port Aventura's real estate assets, including land for residential and commercial use, golf courses and its Beach Club.

La Caixa first acquired its stake in Port Aventura in 1994 and gradually increased it to 100% by 2004.

Catalonia's Port Aventura remains the only profitable theme park currently open in Spain. Perhaps La Caixa are either backing away from the sector before Murcia's Paramount theme park can enter the arena, or they wish to divert their attentions back to their core business ?

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