La Caixa pulls out of Port Aventura

Bank sells 50-percent stake to partner for 105 million euros

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-percent holding in the park to the investment fund Investindustrial for 105 million euros. 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 euros 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 euros in new attractions, hotels and a convention center.

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

Criteria remains the 100-percent 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 percent by 2004.

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