Abu Dhabi in bidding for $465m deal for 3 Aussie hotels

The sovereign wealth fund is one of two bidders for the three Marriott properties
Abu Dhabi in bidding for $465m deal for 3 Aussie hotels
Marriott has at present 18 of its brands represented in the Middle East.
By Daniel Shane
Tue 01 May 2012 09:05 AM

An Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund is one of two potential bidders in final talks to buy three Marriott hotel properties in Australia, with a final decision due by the end of May, according to reports.

Sydney-based asset management fund Colonial First State Global Asset Management is in final talks with two groups to sell its three Marriott hotels, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Colonial is in due diligence with the two parties and expects to arrive at final bids for the five-star Marriott hotels in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne by the end of May, according to Angus McNaughton, who oversees US$18.8 billion as managing director for property at the Sydney-based asset manager.

While he declined to identify the bidders, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Malaysia’s YTL Corporation were named as the two contenders in a report by the Australian Financial Review in April.

A group comprising a Middle Eastern party, US-based Host Hotels & Resorts (HST) and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation may be among bidders for the hotels worth a combined US$465 million, the Australian newspaper said in February without naming its sources. Colonial’s property unit is selling the hotels as its unlisted Commonwealth Property Hotel Fund’s term draws to a close.

“We’re selling the hotels into a rising market, and there’s been a lot of offshore interest,” McNaughton said. “We’re focusing now on our core strengths: retail and office.”

Hotel revenues per available room will grow by 7.2 percent this year, and capital values will rise between 5 percent and 10 percent, according to figures from broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Retail property rents will rise 2.7 percent this year, and offices will climb 4 percent, it said.

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