Hong Kong-based asset manager iProsperity has acquired a set of 23 Australian hotels from French hotel investment firm AccorInvest, according to an account this week in the Australian Financial Review.
iProsperity, which manages funds for high net worth individuals and focuses on a Chinese clientele, paid a reported A$300 million ($204 million) for the set of Ibis, Mercure and Novotel properties in a deal which closed in recent weeks, according to the Australian media account.
The purchase is the latest in a series of Australian property acquisitions by iProsperity, which just weeks ago purchased a casino on the Pacific island of Vanuatu for A$30 million.
Acquiring Over 3,000 Rooms
The primarily freehold properties, which total more than 3,000 rooms spread across Australia’s major capital cities and regional centres, include the 412-room dual Ibis Brisbane and Mercure Brisbane CBD hotels, the 296-room Novotel Brisbane, the 250-room Ibis Melbourne Hotel, the 200-room Ibis Sydney Airport and the 239-room Mercure Perth.
Fifteen of those hotels – all Ibis-branded – were acquired by AccorInvest from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for A$200 million in December 2016.
The sale of the portfolio, which includes 17 real estate assets and six lease interests, had attracted a number of contenders reportedly including global fund manager BlackRock
All hotels within the portfolio are operated by AccorHotels, the management affiliate of AccorInvest, and combined cover a total of 54,500 square metres (586,633 square feet). The portfolio was first reported to be on the market in July, with JLL Hotel & Hospitality Group representing AccorInvest in the sale.
iProsperity Brings Chinese Cash to Aussie Market
iProsperity Group, which has been helping wealthy Chinese investors obtain Australian residency through the country’s Significant Investor Visa scheme, has become an active player in Australia’s hotel market.
In July, the group offloaded the 200-key Novotel Melbourne hotel and adjoining Century City Walk shopping center in suburban Melbourne in a A$150 million deal.
Meanwhile, the company’s 333 Kent Street Sydney asset, which is approved for development of a luxury hotel and residential tower, is currently on the market, according to The Urban Developer. iPG bought the asset on behalf of a group of Chinese investors for the symbolic price of A$88.88 million in 2016.
Accor Remains Australia’s Biggest Hotel Operator
The sale of the Australian portfolio would still leave Accor as the dominant hotel operator in Australia, while AccorInvest will maintain a portfolio of some 800 hotels globally which it either owns or leases on long-term agreements of 30 to 50 years.
Last May, a consortium of investors including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Singapore’s GIC acquired a 57.8 percent stake in AccorInvest from AccorHotels for €4.4 billion ($4.86 billion). AccorHotels continued to hold 42.2 percent of the capital of AccorInvest, although it would no longer be included in the hotel giant’s consolidated financial statements.