GIC to acquire $620m Australia hotel portfolio with Partners Group, Salter Brothers

The portfolio has a gross asset value of A$620 million (S$620.3 million). PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC will acquire a portfolio of 11 Travelodge hotels in Australia with global private markets firm Partners Group and Australian hospitality operator Salter Brothers, Partners Group said in a statement on Friday.

The portfolio, with a gross asset value of A$620 million (S$620.3 million), is diversified across key metropolitan centres including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and consists of over 2,000 rooms, the group said.

It added that the acquisition from Mirvac and NRMA is also the largest of its kind to transact in Australia.

Partners Group said the transaction "provides an opportunity to capitalise on the long-term relative value of Australia's hospitality sector", and noted that the portfolio will likely benefit from a nationwide campaign in Australia that aims to increase domestic tourism.

The group added that it plans to improve the utilisation of the hotels through initiatives including rebranding, select upscaling and widening their visibility through the expansion of loyalty and rewards programmes across a wider distribution channel.

Managing director of private real estate at Partners Group Rahul Ghai said: "We particularly like this portfolio as it provides initial income with potential for further yield through transformational value creation strategies; it also provides a significant foothold from which we can scale towards a larger portfolio over time."

There is also evidence of a steady economic recovery in Australia, said Euan Kennedy, member of management of private real estate at Partners Group.

"Rising rates of vaccination are likely to support the progressive reopening of the economy and bode well for increased room penetration from both domestic and foreign travellers over the course of our investment," Mr Kennedy added.

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