A Cypriot stands out in a unique way in the real estate sector, having created an empire of 33 hotels, of which 18 are Hilton.
This is the 54-year-old Andreas Panagiotou, who managed from scratch to acquire a net worth that exceeds 2 billion euros in assets, zero debts and one of the largest piles of cash in the hands of a businessman in the world. It has 33 hotels, 18 of which are Hilton (the largest manager of the firm in Europe) and huge brands, such as Waldorf Astoria, according to dealnews.
The son of a poor family of Cypriot immigrants, Andreas Panagiotou wanted to grow up fast and do things from a young age. “I saw how hard my parents worked and how tired they were at the laundry they had and I wanted to do something better. I was not a good student at school because I found that I was wasting my time and I had a hard time writing. “Not to mention a lot, I had dyslexia, as did Henry Ford, Richard Branson, Nelson Rockefeller and William Hewlett, people who wrote business history,” the article said in the First Issue.
The Cypriot was born in East London, where his parents emigrated in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion. His father was a tailor from Limassol and his mother made dresses in Larnaca. Panagiotou will be born and raised in a slum, while at the age of seven he started boxing. Gives 54 fights and loses just one, becomes UK champion and prepares for a huge, professional career. “Then, from the age of 7 to 19, my whole life was boxing, since I left school at 14 and businesses were not in my mind,” he told dealnews.
The same publication states that the greatest, perhaps qualification for a businessman, is insight. This was something the English press could not understand. “Shortly before the crisis,” he recalls, “in 2007, I owned about 7,000 properties. Then I noticed that, 10 years after I started working with returns of 40%, these were falling every year, after everyone started learning to buy let, the rental income that I started, everyone started to enter the space and flourish. off plan buy. I also noticed that the real estate market in England crashed every 10 years and returned to growth. However, 20 years had passed and the phenomenon had not been repeated “.
Panagiotou, while the funds “besieged” him to do new jobs, was constantly building, watching the market and seeing that something was wrong. Expect collapse in an abnormal way. “So, six months before the crisis, I made the decision. I looked at my portfolio and I had 1.5 billion in assets. And I say to myself, Andrea, you can lose half, you better sell them and keep the fluid. And I started selling little by little. ” Even so, this did not go unnoticed. The Financial Times, with its front page, wonders why Panagiotou Ability Group is selling. The following are the other newspapers and channels. “What does Panagiotou know that we do not know”, is a frequent headline of the reports.
He has decided, since he has a strong liquidity position, his next step. “I do not think you can do 100 jobs,” he tells us. “Do one, or at least a few that you know and be the first. “Even then, I did not want to go away from the job I knew.” Thus, it turns to the hotel sector which has similarities with real estate, but also many more possibilities. “I thought that with hotels, you can put bars, restaurants, casinos, you can raise the value much more.” In the following semester, a contact orgasm takes place. All the top brands in the field, try to work with him: Ritz Carlton, Mariott, Hilton, 4 seasons and many more, “besiege” him. He says that “in business, you have to see who you are dealing with to know how to proceed.