Singapore group grabs Brisbane’s ibis Styles hotel

The ibis Styles hotel in Brisbane.
The ibis Styles hotel in Brisbane.

One of Asia’s wealthiest private groups, Legend Land, an associate of Worldwide Hotels, has plunged into the Sunshine State for the first time, buying Brisbane’s ibis Styles hotel in a deal worth about $100 million. 

It is Legend Land’s second Australian hotel buy this year following its Holiday Inn, Perth purchase. Both deals were negotiated by CBRE Hotels.

The 367-room ibis Styles hotel, which fronts 40 Elizabeth St in the Brisbane CBD, was opened in March 2016.

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Recognised as Singapore’s leading tourist-class hotel group, Worldwide Hotels controls 43 hotels in the Asia-Pacific, including six hotel brands in Singapore, including Hotel Boss.

“It is the intention of the group to expand worldwide, in line with the next phase of its long-term plans,” said Worldwide Hotels managing director Carolyn Choo, adding that the company was striving to be a significant player in the global hospitality scene.

The hotel’s vendor, Action Hotels, recently delisted from the British stock exchange.

The Brisbane sale was part of its strategy to invest in its global hotel pipeline.

CBRE Hotels national director Wayne Bunz brokered the deal on behalf for Action Hotels. He refused to comment on the price. He said the low Australian dollar coupled with strong tourism growth helped to fuel offshore demand for hotel investments nationwide, with Brisbane viewed as a counter-cyclical ­investment opportunity.

“The smart money is actively seeking opportunities in Brisbane, where hotels are being ­acquired below replacement value,” Bunz says.

More than $200 million in offshore capital has been invested in Brisbane hotel acquisitions in the past 12 months via German, Hong Kong and Singaporean buyers.

Recent sales include the ­Emporium Hotel, Fortitude Valley, to Ovolo for $34 million and the Ibis and Mercure Brisbane hotels to Commerz Real, brokered by CBRE. “There is pent-up buyer demand … however our greatest challenge is finding stock,” Bunz said.

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