Elanor buys two wildlife parks as fund kicks off

Elanor has run Featherdale Wildlife Park since 2013. Picture: Liam Driver
Elanor has run Featherdale Wildlife Park since 2013. Picture: Liam Driver

The listed Elanor is looking to capitalise on a surge in interest in wildlife parks from local and international visitors by bundling its holdings into a $49 million fund it plans to expand.

The new managed fund, dubbed the Elanor Wildlife Park Fund, will aim to grow across Australia with Elanor unveiling ambitions of having a multi-asset, real estate-backed, wildlife park tourism and leisure fund.

The vehicle will initially own two assets, Featherdale Wildlife Park in western Sydney and Mogo Zoo at Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast, that the company has just bought from founder Sally Padey, who built the zoo and ran it for close to three decades.

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Elanor has run Featherdale Wildlife Park since 2013.

The two assets are being pitched as iconic Australian wildlife parks, each with high brand awareness and a long history of profitability.

Elanor, which also runs office, shopping centre and hotel funds, said the tourism and leisure industry was growing strongly and presenting quality investment opportunities, and it will look to buy more private wildlife parks and zoos.

The company will also look to capitalise on what it termed “value add” opportunities at the funds properties.

Elanor chief executive Glenn Willis says that acquiring Mogo Zoo will allow the company to apply its own approach.

“We look forward to applying our asset management approach to Mogo Zoo initially, and as the fund grows, to additional wildlife parks across Australia, to deliver strong returns for both our capital partners and our shareholders,” he says.

Elanor will co-invest about 20% of the fund alongside domestic institutional and private capital partners.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.