Major Spanish hotel chain H10 Hotels and international tour operator Transat A.T. Inc. to create 5-hotel, 1,600-room joint venture in Mexico, Dominican Republic



    BARCELONA and MONTREAL, Nov. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - International tourism
companies H10 Hotels, based in Barcelona, (Spain) and tour operator Transat
A.T. Inc., based in Montreal (Canada) have agreed to create a joint venture to
own and operate five existing hotels currently owned by H10 Hotels in Mexico
and Dominican Republic, subject to approval by Mexican regulatory authorities
and usual closing conditions. H10 Hotels, a Catalan hotel chain with more than
40 hotels in 14 destinations, will retain a 65% interest in the new company,
while Transat, a major tour operator to Mexico and the Caribbean, also active
in Europe, will acquire the remaining 35% (with an option to go to 45% within
five years of closing) by contributing to the joint venture through a capital
increase representing a consideration of US$55 million in cash. Closing is
expected during the current quarter.
    The five H10 Hotel establishments in the Caribbean and Mexico will be
owned and operated by the joint venture. In the Riviera Maya, Mexico, holdings
will include the H10 Hacienda Maya (320 rooms), the H10 Punta Coral and H10
Punta Turquesa (586 rooms in total, to open in December 2007), and in Punta
Cana, Dominican Republic, the joint venture will offer the H10 Ocean Blue and
H10 Ocean Sand (708 rooms in total), for a combined total of more than
1,600 rooms. All hotels are beachfront, high-quality properties.
    Dominican Republic and Mexico are two key destinations for Transat, which
sells nearly 900,000 sun packages to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America
annually to Canadian and French travellers. Transat is one of the largest
hotel room-night buyers in the area, and has been a commercial partner of
H10 Hotels since 1999.
    "Having a dynamic presence in the hotel business at our key destinations
and teaming up with one of the best hotel companies in the world was among our
top priorities," said Jean-Marc Eustache, one of the founders, and President
and Chief Executive Officer, of Transat A.T. Inc. "This joint venture is what
we were looking for. It allows us to secure a number of quality hotel rooms
and maximize the gains we derive from being vertically integrated."
    For his part, Josep Espelt, founder and President of H10 Hotels, said:
"We are very pleased to partner with Transat and we look forward to expand
from the existing base we will now share in Mexico and the Dominican Republic,
as international tourism continues its steady growth. This partnership is
designed to be scaled up over time, and each partner will benefit from the
strengths and leadership of the other."

    About H10 Hotels

    H10 Hotels was founded at the beginning of the '80s in Barcelona, Spain,
and operates 40 hotels in 14 destinations, for a total of more than
11,000 rooms, most of which it owns. One of the top 10 hotel companies in
Spain, H10 Hotels plans to grow further in the Caribbean and Europe. H10
Hotels' commitment is to offer its clientele exceptional locations,
specialized services, a carefully selected cuisine and facilities constantly
updated to guarantee the highest quality.

    About Transat

    Transat A.T. Inc. was founded in 1987. It is an integrated international
tour operator with more than 60 destination countries. It distributes products
in over 50 countries. A holiday travel specialist, Transat operates mainly in
Canada and Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean
Basin. Montreal-based Transat is also active in air transportation,
destination services and distribution. It is a public, widely held company
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange with annualized revenues of approximately
CAD3 billion. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A)

    Transat Conference Call -- Transat will hold a conference call for
financial analysts, investors and media representatives today, at 10:30 am,
Montreal time. Dial 514-861-2909, 1-888-789-9572 or 800-6578-9818. Name of
conference: Transat. The archived call will be available at 514-861-2272 or
1-800-408-3053 access code 3243905 pound sign, until Tuesday, December 4,
2007.

    Caution regarding forward-looking statements by Transat
    -------------------------------------------------------

    This news release may contain forward-looking statements. Factors that
could lead actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the
forward-looking statements include general economic conditions, competition,
extreme weather conditions, disease outbreaks, war, terrorism, and other risks
detailed from time to time in the Corporation's continuous disclosure
documents.
    These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve
risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Corporation's control
that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated
by these forward-looking statements. The Corporation considers the assumptions
on which these forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable, but
cautions the reader that these assumptions regarding future events, many of
which are beyond its control, may ultimately prove to be incorrect since they
are subject to risks and uncertainties that may affect the Corporation. For
additional information with respect to these and other factors, see the Annual
Information Form and Annual Report for the year ended October 31, 2006, filed
with Canadian securities commissions. The Corporation disclaims any intention
or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements,
whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than
as required by law.
    %SEDAR: 00002758EF




For further information:

For further information: H10 Hotels: Gemma Espelt, +34 93 430 41 47;
Transat A.T. Inc.: Jean-Michel Laberge, (514) 908-4499; Source: H10 Hotels 
Transat A.T. Inc.


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890