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Friday, 29 August 2014

Chilean-Croatian Lukšić Family Ink Largest Croatian Tourism Deal In History


This is pretty cool news, I've only done a couple of other "business world" type posts, and it doesn't particularly interest me all that much, but this is a little different obviously. I've heard of and known about this Chilean-Croatian Lukšić Family for a few years, (pronounced "Luke-shich" in Croatian), so now is as good a time as any to make a post.

It's cool that another person in Forbes richest people list, and who is of Croatian descent also, decided to recently invest in Croatia and in the process even make Croatian history, tourism investment history anyway. I also think this is the right type of guy to make this endeavor. What do I mean? Well, the last thing you want is some 80 or 90 year old rich stuffy suit and tie investing in prime Croatian tourism areas. Those types don't have no business there and don't understand a lot of the important subtleties of Croatian life, traditions and culture, especially along the coast.

An example of what I'm talking about. Here's a Brazilian hotel manager pic I came across, I don't know what this lady is doing but with an attitude and fashions like that she's simply not going to fit in with running a hotel on the Croatian coast or blend into Croatian society and summer beaches scene. (probably not even cleaning the washrooms actually)

The way I see it, someone who is not familiar with Croatia's coast, it's ambiance and cultural nuances, and who is instead just strictly an investment in buildings/hotels type, such as...."Hey, I want to own some buildings and hotels and resorts and change the names, and new suits for the bellhops" or just pork bellies and retail stores in Kentucky or New Jersey etc, gut and renovate old buildings to make new Dollar Stores or burger joints, they just won't understand the important stuff and intricacies involved and before you know it they'll be in over their head, scrambling for the exits yelling "Put on a new coat of paint and make the washrooms sparkly clean, put those classy blue water pucks in the toilets, some new peel-n-stick mirror tiles in the lobby, fresh mints in the front desk jar and sell, sell, sell...SELL dammit!!! (That's why bingo halls, (I mean bingo halls) beef jerky and Walmarts will never take off in Croatia, or Europe in general most probably)

Anyway, Davor is the grandson of Andrónico Lukšić, who founded the Luksic Group (and a University of Chile drop out who chose to instead focus on the family business), and in the process he became the richest person in Chile. (Luksic had also worked tirelessly towards the diplomatic recognition of Croatia from the time Croatia and Slovenia declared independence after democratic elections, and especially the following Serb/Yugoslav ethnic cleansing and genocide and Serb church supported rape campaigns starting in 1991, his father emigrated to Chile from the island of Brač in 1910)  Davor seems to know how to relax and have a good time, that's very important when operating and investing in any tourism sector. Their other company already in Croatia for 20 years seems to know what they're doing.

Ok, just a couple pics, but I'm not going to get all tabloidy and gossipy. Pictured with his current girlfriend, it just goes to show you that the tourism biz is more than just accounting and permits and paperwork. 

This is what I mean, you can't just always be sitting around the mall foodcourt or doing paperwork in a suit all of the time after all. You have to get your feet wet so you know what the hell you're talking about.

You may not have heard of him, or of the Lukšić Family, but believe you me, this is the kind of guy you want running the show when you go to one of his hotels in the future. He keeps a low profile, but if you Google around you will see that he's not averse to having a good time with friends etc, doing fun activities, enjoyable ambience etc (example, ...I mean example) It's all about the time and a place thing, staying away from the tabloids/gossip rags and scandalous this and that stories, comfortable and stylish/hip looking shirts. More info at the links...


Biggest Business Transaction in Croatian Tourism History


The wealthy Chilean-Croatian Lukšić family have just purchased Istraturist Umag, which operates hotels, apartments and villas in Croatia, from Zagrebačka banka for 120.1 million euros, making it the largest tourism business deal in the country’s history, the Zagreb Stock Exchange reported on Tuesday…

Lukšić’s Plava Laguna (Croatian for "Blue Lagoon") company, based in Poreč , have now become 93.04% share holders in the Umag company. The purchase puts the Lukšić’s on top of the throne in the tourism sector in the country, with 45,000 beds (in accommodations), overtaking the Austrian-owned Valamar hotels which have 42,000 beds.

“This deal represents a key event in the history of our group in Croatia. Twenty years after our first investment, we have confirmed a commitment to long-term investment in Croatian tourism,” said Plava Laguna’s Davor Lukšić, who described the negotiations, which have been ongoing for more than 8 months, as ‘challenging’.

The Lukšić’s will add 16 hotels, villas and apartments to their current portfolio with the purchase of Istraturist. The Lukšić family, who settled in Chile, have mining, brewing and banking interests around the world. Luksic’s Croatian operation is run by Davor Lukšić, the 30-year-old grandson of the Lukšić empire creator, Andrónico Lukšić.

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