NOBODY else wanted it, but the newly-named Lord Alan Sugar saw its money-making potential.
Valued at 38 million euros, the business tycoon proved he still has a discerning eye for a deal by snapping up the five-star Hotel Byblos in Mijas for just two million euros.
The hotel had previously been gathering dust on the shop shelf – without any interest from potential buyers – after its owners went bankrupt.
But for a mere fraction of its estimated cost, the Apprentice star – who has a house up the coast in Benahavis – jumped at the chance to make a quick investment in the luxury hotel.
The Olive Press had revealed how at a public auction of the hotel last July not one single buyer had put in a bid.
“Lord Sugar is delighted to have acquired this hotel. This really is a belting deal for his empire,” revealed a source.
“He may now be a peer and TV star but he will always remain an entrepreneur at heart.”
Located between Mijas and Fuengirola, the hotel was a popular hideout for celebrities including Chris Evans and JK Rowling. Princess Diana even stayed on a few occasions, while the Rolling Stones chilled out there.
The lavish complex has 96 double rooms and 48 suites – all offering sumptuous views across the mountains and gardens at 390 euros a night.
Guests are treated to three restaurants, tennis courts, a spa centre, swimming pool and the choice to play on two golf courses either side of the hotel.
Despite the lack of interest shown, the hotel is in prime condition, as owners Aifos spent 35 million euros on refurbishing the extravagant hotel just four years ago.
The cut-price bid was submitted by Lord Sugar’s Spanish-based company Amsprop Spain – now run by son Daniel – after his father resigned on receiving his peerage.
“It has previously hosted famous names such as Princess Diana, JK Rowling, the Rolling Stones and Radio 2’s Chris Evans”.
“I can confirm that Amsprop Espana, a subsidiary of Amshold Limited, has reached an agreement with the courts of Fuengirola regarding three plots of land in Mijas,” explained Daniel Sugar.
“The legal procedural process is not due to be completed until the start of September. “We have no further comment.”
The news of Lord Sugar’s purchase was met with relief from the 114 hotel staff fretting over their job security.
Head of the hotel’s management company, Jose Garcia, described the sale as a ‘ray of hope’, while Lola Villabla, spokesman for the Workers Commissions trade union, said it was ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’.
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