One of Ibiza‘s most fabled clubbing institutions is under new ownership.
As was rumored this past summer, Pacha Group — which includes the Ibiza flagship club, two hotel island hotel properties and clubs in Barcelona and Munich — has been acquired by FIVE Holdings, the Dubai-based hospitality and real estate group. FIVE encompasses a namesake hotel brand with two locations in Dubai and a property in Zurich, with a third Dubai property currently under construction.
FIVE Hospitality and The Pacha Group CEO Aloki Batra tells Billboard that FIVE’s acquisition of The Pacha Group is worth approximately $330 million, and that conversations regarding the sale started nearly two and a half years ago at an event in Mykonos.
The Pacha Group was previously owned by the private equity firm Trilantic Capital Partners, which acquired the brand in 2017. A representative from Trilantic declined to comment on the sale.
Batra says that as part of the transfer of ownership, Pacha Ibiza will see some light changes, including improvements to the lighting system, slightly expanded VIP areas, enhanced production elements and improvements to the club’s “digital footprint” including systems to track attendance through NFT wristbands.
“If [you’ve] been to been to five or six shows, the next time you show up, we should know that. Now it’s just blind,” says Batra. “[We plan to] increase the quality of experience by getting to know our fans a lot better and then [determining] how we can engage with them and make them feel special.” Batra adds that there’s been a “full continuity” of staff at the club amid the change in ownership.
Batra says FIVE is also looking at ways to revive the club’s longstanding record label, Pacha Recordings with pre-recorded DJ sets delivered to fans globally on DSPs.
“[We’re] definitely looking at that that very seriously,” Batra says. “We have this rich legacy and need to take it ahead for the digital age and the customer of today. I think that’s a huge opportunity for us, and it’s great for the fans, because we intend to bring your favorite club closer to you.”
While programming at the club will remain largely the same — including Solomun’s iconic Sunday night residency — Batra says the plan is to also make offerings “a bit more reggaeton-ey” for the 2024 season. “There’s a lot of demand for it and we’re looking to address that demand,” he says, noting that Maluma and J Balvin have previously performed at Pacha Ibiza. “We want to be well represented in the reggaeton world… We think there’s definitely a trend in that direction.”
The acquisition marks FIVE’s first properties in Ibiza, with the deal also encompassing the resorts El Hotel Pacha Ibiza and Destino Pacha Ibiza. Located approximately 15 minutes north of the club, this latter property will see a series of what Batra calls “significant upgrades” and officially become a FIVE branded property in 2025.
He says that while the Ibiza market is highly competitive, visitors to the island now often come more and stay longer, creating opportunities for property owners. He adds that the same demographic that visits FIVE resorts in Dubai are also likely to travel to Ibiza.
Pacha Ibiza opened in 1973 and, 50 years later, hosts some of the biggest DJs in the world. Batra emphasize that while other clubs in the market offer “a show with a big DJ set” Pacha is still focused on throwing “a party with the DJ right at the center.”
To wit, FIVE will maintain Pacha’s ” bohemian artistic direction…[The plan is] not more pyrotechnics as far as we’re concerned,” says Batra. “We’re more about the party, the atmosphere and enhancing that experience [and not having] people pull out their mobile phones for the entirety of the set.”
“We’re buying into a real legacy,” Batra adds. “It’s one of the greatest entertainment brands out of Europe at the forefront of dance music and culture. The relationship between the success of Ibiza and the success of Pacha is very intertwined; I think it’s almost a definitive story of Ibiza… So it’s very exciting to have an opportunity to be part of this great story and navigate it into a blissful future.”