Azimut Hotels hotel chain will manage Alrosa-owned health-improving center "Prometey" on the Black Sea coast near Tuapse, told "Vedomosti" two sources close to the parties to the deal. The facility with a capacity of up to 600 people has already passed under the management of the company, confirmed the representative of Azimut Hotels. Alrosa, according to its representative, expects that the profile management company will improve the quality of recreation in Prometheus: "She has more experience in this business."
Azimut Hotels is the largest Russian hotel operator and one of the most active players in the hotel market. Only in the last year Azimut Hotels portfolio increased by more than 1700 numbers due to hotels in Kemerovo, Penza, Sochi, Kyzyl and others. In March 2018, the network agreed with VEB about the management of the Golden Ring resort in Pereslavl-Zalessky. The owner of Azimut Hotels is Gleden Invest businessman Alexander Klyachin.
Among the tasks of Azimut Hotels is not only to attract new guests to Prometheus, but also to bring the complex to the international level of service, the network representative added. At the same time, according to the terms of the agreement, some of the places in the complex should be retained by the employees of Alrosa, although third-party tourists may stay there, explained its representative. State-controlled Alrosa is the world's largest producer of diamonds; the company employs about 37,000 employees.
The complex next to Tuapse is not the only hotel facility "Alrosa", transferred to the management of Azimut Hotels. A year ago, Klyachin rented the Polyarnaya Zvezda hotel (95 rooms) in Yakutsk, which she also managed. Two consultants who worked with the parties to the deal told that Azimut Hotels could get other resort assets of Alrosa into the management. The representative of the latter does not comment on this. Azimut Hotels is ready to disclose information only about those projects for which contracts have been already concluded, said its vice-president for development Dmitry Bebishev. However, according to him, before the end of the year the network can announce several more projects.
Alrosa belonged to ZAO Alrosa Hotels, but in 2013 it sold it at an auction. The winner was the unknown firm "Nord". From the lottery documentation it followed that the "Alrosa Hotels" portfolio included six hotels with 563 rooms in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Anapa, Yakutsk and Mirny. The last two hotels still belong to Alrosa, since the sold subsidiary was their tenant, they know two consultants who worked with the parties to the transaction. The Yakut hotel is already in the management of Azimut Hotels, now the partners can agree on the management of the hotel "Zarnitsa" (83 rooms) in Mirny, they add. Alrosa also owns the Blue Wave sanatorium (600 seats) in Gelendzhik.
The hotel business is not profile for Alrosa, therefore the company's decision to attract a professional management team to manage such assets is absolutely justified, Marina Smirnova, the head of the hotel business and tourism department of Сushman & Wakefield, believes. Such companies help the owner with a minimal investment to get a much better economic result from their facilities, agrees the head of the hotel business department of JLL Tatiana Veller. As a rule, state-owned companies sell non-core assets, says owner of the management company Ivashkevich Hospitality Stanislav Ivashkevich. As an example, he cites Gazprom, which is looking for buyers for resort assets, among them - the oldest hotel in Krasnaya Polyana "Peak Hotel". However, due to the fact that these assets are morally obsolete in most cases and require additional investments, it is not always possible to find a buyer for them, the expert adds. According to Ivashkevich, this can be helped by the involvement of a professional operator. Moreover, unlike international networks Azimut Hotels is ready to enter small regional markets, adds Smirnov.