Baker McKenzie confirms role in Australia’s biggest hotel deal for 2020

The firm advised in the sale of a17-hotel portfolio for $180m

Baker McKenzie confirms role in Australia’s biggest hotel deal for 2020

Baker McKenzie has confirmed its role in Australia’s biggest hotel deal for 2020.

The firm advised European hotel owner and investor AccorInvest on the sale of its 17-hotel portfolio in Australia to Sydney venture capital firm Iris Capital for $180m. Hotels in the portfolio include ibis Hotel & Apartments Melbourne, ibis Sydney Airport, ibis Budget Sydney Olympic Park, ibis Newcastle and ibis Budget Brisbane Airport, reported The Hotel Conversation.

The sale was negotiated by JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group’s CEO Craig Collins and managing director Peter Harper.

“The pure scale of the portfolio and its diversity – in terms of location, market positioning and income profile – attracted significant interest from a very broad range of capital sources,” Collins said in a statement published by The Hotel Conversation. “We would like to thank AccorInvest for entrusting us with such an important mandate and congratulate Iris Capital on acquiring an unparalleled foothold and becoming one of the largest hotel owners in the country.”

Harper, who is JLL’s head of investment sales in Australasia, said that this transaction was the year’s largest hotel sale. With the integration of the AccorInvest portfolio, Iris Capital expands its own portfolio to 45 hotels.

Iris Capital CEO Sam Arnaout said that the acquisition fits with the company’s current hospitality pub portfolio while also delivering on its diversification strategy.

“We are delighted to have secured such a large portfolio in-one-line,” Arnaout said. “The AccorInvest portfolio is well placed for repositioning and gives Iris immediate scale in an extremely tightly held hotel market.”

AccorInvest CEO Gilles Clavié said that the sale is a part of the company’s asset management plan, and is “fully in line with our strategy to strengthen in Europe in the economic and mid-range segments.”

Baker McKenzie’s team, which was headed by corporate markets and M&A partners Steven Glanz and Lawrence Mendes, advised AccorInvest with regard to the structuring of the competitive sale process for the portfolio. The team helped with bidder engagement, as well as with preparing and negotiating the transaction documents.

“We were delighted to work with AccorInvest to achieve a successful outcome on this significant transaction,” Glanz said.

Real estate partner Bruce Webb assisted with the transaction alongside associates Michael Diston and Rebecca Tan. Partner John Walker and consultant Peter McMahon provided tax-related advice, as did associates Janet Cho and Joanna Kuok.

“Although this is a hotels-specific transaction, we see deals such as this as representative of a general trend toward M&A activity increasing after the initial uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year,” Mendes said.

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