Marque portfolio sells for $72mn

The Grand Hotel Group’s four star Marque Hotel portfolio has sold for a combined value of $72 million.Mr Mark Durran, Executive Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels negotiated the sale of the three freehold investment hotels to two separate buyers on behalf of GHGs new owners Morgan Stanley and Tuan Sing.

Primespace Property Investment purchased The Marque Hotel Canberra, whilst a private investor purchased both The Marque Hotel Brisbane and The Marque Hotel Sydney properties. Strategically located along Australia’s eastern seaboard under lease agreements to Rendezvous Hotels Group, the three properties are currently undergoing a major $7.5 million refurbishment.

“Australia’s hotel investment market remains buoyant and as such, investor interest for the 290 room portfolio was exceptionally strong,” said Mr Durran. “Investors were attracted to the investment properties due to their prime locations and long term leases offered with both fixed rent and turnover rent.”

“This was a very rare opportunity for astute hotel investors to acquire a portfolio of quality hotels in three major Australian capital cities all showing clear signs of continued improvement,” added Mr Durran. The sale of the Sydney and Brisbane Marques reflected a yield in the order of 6.5%.

The 965sqm site of the Marque Hotel Sydney is situated opposite Sydney’s Central Railway Station and enjoys three street frontages. The Marque Hotel Brisbane is a 16 level 99 room hotel located in the heart of the CBD.

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The Marque Hotel Canberra (78 rooms) is situated on a 6,270sqm Crown leasehold site on the prominent Northbourne Avenue. Despite the property’s excellent potential for alternate use, Canberra’s hotel market is presently the second best performing market in Australia with room yield growth of 19.7% during the March quarter 2007.

Alan Walker, CFO for GHG said, “We offered the three Marque properties for sale after the new board deemed the hotels were no longer a strategic fit with the group’s five star hotel business model and we are pleased with the sale prices achieved.”

GHG is an Australian based hotel owner with approximately $650 million of assets, including four hotels under management agreements with Hyatt International.
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