Singapore real estate companies are heading West to buy hospitality assets.
Developer CDL has acquired a luxury hotel in Manchester popular with the city's United football stars, while CapitaLand has landed a prime property in New York's Fifth Avenue through its serviced residence arm The Ascott.
The Manchester deal - undertaken by CDL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust and CDL Hospitality Business Trust - involved paying £52.9 million (S$96 million) for The Lowry Hotel.
The two trusts are part of the CDL Hospitality Trusts stapled group, which has acquired 100 per cent of The Lowry Hotel Limited, which will continue to operate the hotel.
The acquisition will be fully funded by pound-denominated debt taken on by CDL Hospitality Business Trust.
The 165-room hotel recorded growth of 6.9 per cent in revenue per available room last year, due to strong demand for hotel accommodation from both business and leisure travellers.
The hotel is favoured by the Manchester United football club, which reportedly books tens of rooms.
"This acquisition reinforces our strategy to invest in markets with robust medium- to long-term growth potential," chief executive of the managers Vincent Yeo said.
This is CDL Hospitality Trusts' second investment in Britain.
It noted yesterday that Manchester's economy is less prominently exposed to the financial sector, which is the industry potentially most affected by Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
Meanwhile, property titan CapitaLand said The Ascott will make a total investment of US$50 million (S$70 million) to buy and renovate the Hotel Central Fifth Avenue.
The 125-unit hotel will undergo renovation in phases, to be rebranded as Citadines Fifth Avenue New York next year - the Citadines brand's first serviced residence in the United States.
The Ascott has its sights set on the Americas. This purchase follows its recent foray into South America through franchise agreements for two Citadines serviced residences in Brazil.
"The US will continue to be an economic powerhouse and its potential for long-term returns is attractive. It is our third-largest source market for guests and we expect this to grow," said Ascott chief executive Lee Chee Koon.
He added that Citadines is the Ascott's fastest-growing brand, and that its debut in North America was a "significant move" that will accelerate the expansion of its franchise business there.
"Franchises, together with investments, management contracts and strategic alliances will continue to be key strategies... as we strive towards our target of 80,000 units globally by 2020," he said.