Singapore’s CDL to acquire Sofitel Brisbane for $118M

In one of the biggest hotel deals in Brisbane, Singapore’s City Developments Ltd. (CDL) has agreed to acquire the 416-key Sofitel Brisbane Central from Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for A$177.7 million ($118.05 million).

CDL, one of the largest real estate companies in Singapore, said in a statement that a joint venture equally owned by its Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and M&C New Zealand hospitality units will acquire the landmark hotel.

The hotel will continue to be managed by the Accor Group, under its Sofitel brand, following the deal’s anticipated completion in the second half of the year.

CBRE and McVay Real Estate brokered the hotel’s sale.

Chaired by billionaire Kwek Leng Beng, CDL is 49% owned by the Hong Leong Group. In 2018, the company completed the 472-unit luxury residential project, Ivy and Eve, in Brisbane. CDL Hospitality Trusts, CDL’s REIT, owns two hotels in Australia — Mercure Perth and Ibis Perth.

The acquisition of the city’s biggest hotel, by room count and conferencing spaces, marks the Singaporean company’s entry into Brisbane’s hospitality market, which has been witnessing a surge in investments and projects since 2021 after the city acquired the rights to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

“Brisbane is amongst the key hospitality markets in Australia that have enjoyed the strongest RevPAR recovery in 2022, significantly exceeding pre-pandemic levels,” Kwek said. “Brisbane’s pipeline of over A$20 billion ($13.28 billion) in infrastructure projects will further enhance the city’s position as a world-class sporting, tourism and business events destination.”

With Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2027 and 2029, the acquisition is an “attractive opportunity” for CDL to expand its presence in Australia and enhance its income, Kwek said.

Situated in the city’s central business district, the luxury, 30-story hotel is directly linked to the Central Station railway hub and is within walking distance of key attractions in the city. Built-in 1984, the hotel also includes nine meeting and conference spaces to accommodate up to 1,110 persons.

Brookfield acquired Sofitel Brisbane Central in 2012 as part of its $410 million ($272.38 million) takeover of Thakral Holdings. In 2013, Brookfield put it up for sale for $220 million ($146.15 million) as part of a five-property sale. In October 2022, Brookfield put the hotel up for sale again, this time at a discounted asking price of $175 million ($116.26 million).

This acquisition follows a string of investments in Australia by Singaporean companies throughout 2022, including Centurion Properties’ proposal to build a 732-unit student housing complex in Sydney reported in February and the acquisition of two Sydney business parks by Frasers Property in late 2022.