US investor acquires stake in luxury Australian lodge brand

23 Jan 2019

An affiliate of US-based private equity firm KSL Capital Partners has invested in Australian luxury hotel brand Baillie Lodges.

This is the first major luxury portfolio sale in Australia for more than a decade. Transaction details were confidential but were estimated by the Hotel Conversation to be in excess of A$100 million.

Fresh from signing this joint-venture agreement with KSL Capital Partners, Baillie Lodges has announced a northerly addition to its portfolio of luxury lodges, with Tropical North Queensland hideaway Silky Oaks Lodge set to handover in April 2019. The new company will invest in property enhancements and product development at Silky Oaks Lodge over the coming months to align it with the Baillie Lodge guest experience.

Over the next 10 years, the growth rate of outbound luxury trips is projected at 6.2%, almost one-third greater than overall travel (4.8%), according to the Amadeus research report, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel. Luxury long-haul travel will grow faster than any other form of travel, according to the report, putting Australia in a prime position to capitalise on this trend.

Baillie Lodges was founded in 2003 by James and Hayley Baillie. The brand’s portfolio includes Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, and Longitude 131° overlooking Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The company is currently developing Remarkable Lodge in Tasmania.

‘We recognise the significant long-term potential of the Australian luxury travel industry and are excited to work with James and Hayley to expand to new iconic locations,’ says John Ege, Partner at KSL Capital Partners. ‘The Baillie Lodges team has set a high bar for Australian luxury travel with truly exceptional properties and five-star management expertise.’

KSL Capital Partners is a private equity firm specialising in travel and leisure enterprises. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado; Stamford, Connecticut; and London. Since 2005, KSL has raised approximately US$11 billion of capital across both debt and equity funds.