Landmark Melbourne hotel Novotel Melbourne on Collins has been sold to Singapore-listed Frasers Hospitality Trust for $AUD237 million.
The acquisition of the the 380-room hotel from US giant LaSalle Investment Management brokered by JLL is one of largest ever hotel transactions to occur in Melbourne.
CEO JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group Australasia Craig Collins said “We are currently experiencing significant demand for trophy status hotels across Australia’s major markets. There has been a noticeable change of focus with global hotel investors who typically focus on international gateways such as New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong, now also targeting Australia’s key markets.
"Over the past couple of years Australia has become even more attractive because of the excellent growth in international tourism, strong domestic market and the fundamental transparency and safety of the real estate market.”
“We were always confident that the Novotel Melbourne on Collins would be strongly targeted by investors because it enjoys an absolute prime location in the heart of Melbourne, sits above a new luxury retail centre, and has achieved strong and consistent trading performance over a long period of time,” Mr Collins said.
The transaction of the Novotel Melbourne on Collins, the first trophy asset sale in that market for some time, follows around $AUD2 billion of Sydney deals completed by JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group including most recently The Westin Sydney, Hilton Sydney & Sheraton on the Park.
Interest for Novotel Melbourne on Collins was received from a range of domestic and international investors during the Expressions of Interest campaign which garnered multiple highly competitive bids.
Mr Collins added, “We are in continuous contact with a substantial pool of investors who are seeking to either enter the Australian hotel market or further invest. With the current scarcity of opportunities it is difficult for even experienced, well-capitalised groups to secure properties considering just how highly sought Australian hotel assets are at present amongst the international investment community.”
The LaSalle Asian Opportunity Fund III bought the hotel and Collins Street mall, previously called Australia on Collins, for $204m five years ago from Thakral Holdings before undertaking a large scale redevelopment.
In the overhaul of the centre more than 60 retail stores were added.