Apple Leisure Group, the largest operator of resorts in the Caribbean, has hired a new chief executive to prepare the closely-held company for a potential initial public offering or private sale.
Alejandro Reynal, the former CEO of Madrid-based customer service company Atento SA, will replace Alejandro Zozaya, who has led the company for the past two decades, overseeing its growth into a global travel conglomerate.
“We needed someone who could take the company to the next stage, whether that be a sale or an initial public offering, or whatever we decide when the time comes,” said Zozaya. “We have to be IPO-ready.”
The Pennsylvania-based company has plans to build 9,000 rooms in 23 new resorts across the Caribbean and Mexico, as it seeks to cash in on growing demand for international travel. It’s also eyeing further expansion into Europe, Hawaii and Asia, Zozaya said.
Tourist arrivals grew 6% last year to 1.4 billion, according to the United Nations World Tourism Barometer. The company will not be ready for a sale process for at least two years from now, he said.
Zoraya will become the company’s full-time executive chairman from Tuesday.
Apple sells vacation packages, operates charter flights to Mexico and the Caribbean, and manages dozens of resorts in destinations such as Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, and Cancun in Mexico.
Last year, the company bought Spanish hotel chain Alua Hotels & Resorts.
Private equity firms KKR and KSL Capital Partners acquired an undisclosed stake in Apple from Bain Capital in 2016.
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