Strong Australian tourism spurs A$330m Olympic site hotel buy-in

18 Mar 2019

Paris-based insurance company, AXA, is purchasing four landmark Australian hotels in a deal worth A$330 million. In the largest hotels acquisition in Australia in 12 months, the French multinational is adding three Sydney Olympic Park hotels and the Canberra Novotel to its global investments.

According to Kumar Kalyanakumar, Head of Australia, AXA IM – Real Assets, the company plans a series of value-adding initiatives.

‘This transaction presents a rare opportunity to invest in a portfolio of high-quality and extremely well-located hotels,’ he says.

The Sydney properties are co-located on the extended site of the city’s 2000 Olympic Games. They comprise the five-star, 218-room Pullman hotel, plus a 177-room Novotel and a 150-room Ibis hotel.

Today, Sydney Olympic Park is one of Australia’s top events precincts, attracting 10.5 million visitors during 2017–18. ANZ Stadium, and the Spotless and Qudos stadia are all close by.

According to Kalyanakumar, the investment taps into Australia’s vigorous inbound tourism market and local urban development.

‘While these assets already offer strong fundamentals in their own right, they are also set to benefit greatly from … a forecast growth in tourism, and a number of transport infrastructure improvements in Canberra and Western Sydney,’ he says.

The investment follows publication of Australian tourist arrivals data which shows continued strong growth through 2018. Short-term arrivals into Australia have grown at 7.3% per year since 2013, reaching 9.3 million visitors in 2018.

Growth is driven by high demand from the Asia-Pacific region. Short-term arrivals from China have risen by 14.5% per year since 2013 to almost 1.5 million in 2018. Arrivals from Hong Kong and Taiwan are also growing at a double-digit rate.

AXA is one of the world’s biggest insurance companies, with €1.5 trillion of assets under management. The AXA IM division is a global asset investment arm that employs 600 people in more than 20 countries.