Hong Kong's Gaw Capital buys Melbourne's Bell City

Hong Kong's Gaw Capital buys Melbourne's Bell City

Mon, 02/07/2018 - 15:27
Bell City

The sprawling Bell City complex had been on the market since late last year. Photo: Elanor Investors Group

Hong Kong-headquartered property investment group Gaw Capital Partners has added to its Australian portfolio with the $157 million purchase of a hotel, student accommodation and office complex in Melbourne.

ASX-listed Elanor Investors Group today announced it had sold the 24,214 square metre Bell City complex, located in Melbourne’s Preston, for $157 million, on behalf of one of its managed funds.

The sale remains subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval, but is expected to settle in late July.

Bell City comprises 844 hotel rooms across two hotel brands – Mantra and Breakfree, as well as student accommodation, six-storeys of commercial offices and a residential development site with approval for 377 apartments.

Elanor Investors Group’s Bell City Fund acquired the asset from Asian Pacific Group for $142.9 million in 2014.

Elanor appointed JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group to handle the sale, after receiving several unsolicited approaches.

The campaign had been expected to fetch as much as $180 million.

The Bell City acquisition adds to Gaw Capital Partners’ Australian portfolio, which includes a joint venture platform to acquire industrial warehouses in Melbourne and Sydney, and Campus Perth, a student accommodation conversion project on the outskirts of the WA capital’s CBD.

One of Hong Kong’s major private equity real estate investors, Gaw Capital Partner’s portfolio outside of Australia is extensive.

Recent major deals include the acquisition of a Hong Kong retail portfolio for $HK23 billion, which was completed in February, while in May Gaw Capital Partners announced the close of its third United States investment fund, after raising $US412 million.

Gaw Capital’s US Fund III will target real estate opportunities on America’s west coast, focusing on creative office and hospitality assets.

Across its operations and funds, Gaw Capital raised $US3 billion of equity commitments, transacted 28 deals with acquisitions in 16 cities and exits in 20, with a total transaction value of $US7.2 billion globally.