‘Brexit’ will "strengthen collaboration between London and Barcelona", Barcelona’s second Deputy Mayor says

October 3, 2016 06:47 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Innovation and Culture, Jaume Collboni, visited London this Monday to explain the so-called ‘Brexit Plan’. This initiative aims to establish a unique window to support British investors and entrepreneurs that want to come to Barcelona to launch a business. The plan also seeks to convince companies currently based in the UK, which may be considering relocation after ‘Brexit’, that Barcelona is a “business-friendly city”, Collboni stated. The main goal is not to compete with London but to establish a relationship “based on collaboration and cooperation between these and other global capital cities such as Berlin or Amsterdam”, he added. The politician met with London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Rjaesh Agrawal, and the economic promotion agency of the metropolitan area of ??London, London & Partners. “The meetings have gone very well", Collboni said and acknowledged that Barcelona "already has a very good international image". 

BCN World's main investor does not buy land to build $6 billion resort by expected deadline

December 10, 2014 10:56 PM | ACN

Veremonte has decided not to buy the land to build the macro-casino and holiday resort yet and it will wait until it has a better knowledge of the town-planning project's details, which are currently being defined by the public authorities. The main company behind the holiday resort had an exclusivity right to purchase some 500 hectares of land from a Caixabank's subsidiary until December 10 at midnight for €380 million. Veremonte has confirmed it will continue to work on the $6 billion BCN World project with Hard Rock, Melco, Value Retail, Melià and Caesars Entertainment and it could buy the land at a later stage. After knowing about Veremonte's decision, the Catalan Government announced it had reached an agreement with Caixabank to manage the purchase of 150 hectares of land during 18 months at no cost, allowing other companies to buy some plots. They have also confirmed that the project will carry on, "with or without Veremonte". The first version of the town-planning project should be issued in later January and the definitive version should be approved during the summer months, in order to allow construction as from autumn 2015. 

Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen invests $40 million in Catalan e-voting company Scytl

April 7, 2014 10:12 PM | ACN

Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft together with Bill Gates, has invested $40 million in the Barcelona-based Scytl, which is present in 35 countries and is one of the most innovative e-voting companies at world level. Allen will join Scytl's shareholders through his investment fund Vulcan Capital. Vulcan Capital's Manager Abhishek Agrawal will join the Catalan company's Board. Agrawal praised Scytl's "key role" in upgrading electoral processes in cooperation with governments throughout the world. In fact, in the last 10 years the Catalan company has carried out e-voting commissions in the US, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, France, Norway, Switzerland, Bosnia, India, Iceland and Australia. Since 2006 the company led by Pere Vallès has made profits and grown by 70% each year.

Second best year for foreign investment in Catalonia, up over 30% in 2013

March 20, 2014 08:59 PM | ACN

In Catalonia, direct foreign investment – excluding the stock-exchange –grew by 31.5% year-on-year to reach €3.51 billion in 2013, as indicated by a report from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. According to the Foreign Investments Registry, with such a figure, Catalonia achieved its second best year in history, only surpassed by the €4.82 billion received in 2010. Besides, Catalonia accounted for 22.2% of all foreign investments in Spain in 2013, which amounted to a total of €15.81 billion, meaning 8.8% more than the previous year. The region of Madrid was the leading Autonomous Community in Spain for foreign investment attraction, receiving €8.64 billion, which is it to say 54.6% of the total amount. However Madrid's sum also represents a 7.1% decrease on 2012 figures.


Qatar fund buys Barcelona’s Renaissance Hotel for €78.5 million

February 3, 2014 07:54 PM | ACN

An investment fund from Qatar has bought the Hotel Renaissance, located in the Eixample neighbourhood of the Catalan capital. Inici del formulariAccording to La Vanguardianewspaper, the transaction was closed at the price of €78.5 million. The Marriott Group will continue running the establishment as the agreement provides for a long-term management, but the Qatari buyer will participate in the most strategic decisions. The hotel passed from having four-stars when it belonged to AC Hotels, to five stars, after being purchased by the Marriott Group. Its workforce expanded considerably to reach a hundred employees after its re-opening in March 2012. The hotel features 211 rooms and had an average occupancy of 67 % during its first opening year.

Investindustrial, which owns PortAventura theme park, joins ‘BCN World’ by building 3,000 hotel rooms

October 16, 2013 10:25 PM | ACN

The Italian investment group has announced it will build and manage 3,000 of the 6,000 hotel rooms of the ‘BCN World’ mega resort, the competitor to Madrid’s Eurovegas that is being developed by Veremonte in Salou (Costa Daurada). The $6 billion entertainment resort will be located next to the beach and the PortAventura theme park, which is owned by Investindustrial. After a year of talks, the Italian company has finally decided to join the mega resort project, which will have casinos, hotels, convention centres, luxury shops, restaurants, golf courses and a beach club. The CEO of ‘BCN World’, Xavier Adserà, confirmed that the resort will begin building in the first half of 2014, employing 17,000 people. The hotel group Melià, shopping-mall company Value Retail and casino group Melco Crown Entertainment will build the first phase.

German multinational GFT CEO, Ulrich Dietz: “Catalonia is one of our preferred places to invest”

October 3, 2013 10:06 PM | ACN / Laura Pous / Albert Segura

The founder and CEO of technology company GFT announced that they will create 500 new jobs in Catalonia in the coming years. In an exclusive interview with the CNA, Ulrich Dietz, stated that he has “aggressive plans to increase the staff” in Greater Barcelona and Lleida. GFT  specialises in developing technological solutions for the banking and insurance sectors, with a turnover of €231 million in 2012. With several offices in Germany, the company is based in Stuttgart and is present in Brazil, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, US and UK. A quarter of GFT employees throughout the world are based in Catalonia. Most of them work in Greater Barcelona, which is the company’s “hub” for the European market. Dietz explained that he has plans to develop Lleida’s facilities, which currently employ 40 people, “significantly”.

Barcelona launches itself as one of the main gateways of Europe for Chinese business

October 20, 2011 10:48 PM | CNA / Esther Romagosa

More than thirty Chinese companies and investment agencies have visited Barcelona in search of business opportunities. The Catalan capital is a gateway to the European market for Asian companies, thanks to its sea port, airport, geographic location and a dynamic and well connected economy. In addition, Barcelona is also a leading centre in the Euro-Mediterranean Area.

The Catalan Minister of Finance meets with City investors and the Financial Times

October 14, 2011 11:23 PM | CNA / Laura Pous

Andreu Mas-Colell, former Harvard Professor and the current Catalan Finance Minister, travelled to London to meet with financial representatives. The objective is to explain, first-hand, the Catalan Government’s austerity plans and its efforts to reduce the deficit and to foster the economic recovery. Mas-Colell met with City investors, banks and media, such as the ‘Financial Times’.