Congratulations to our team at Crowne Plaza Coogee for a great review in last Sunday’s Weekend Australian Magazine
As the hotels across our Australian portfolio remain open through the current lockdown, the IHG management and staff at Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Hotel have been innovative and forward thinking in positioning the newly refurbished hotel for ‘social distance friendly’ events, meetings and conferences.
From hosting micro weddings which make the most of the hotel’s new world class restaurant and bar spaces, and views across to magnificent Coogee beach, to positioning for ‘social distance friendly’ conferences and meetings which make use of new state of the art content sharing technology, the hotel is positioning to recover strongly as restrictions ease and domestic travel opens up.
Well done to Gareth Long and his team at Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach for featuring in the media extensively over the past week, driving awareness and demand for the hotel’s domestic tourism, business travel and conventions markets.
As seen on-line
The Hotel Conversation
Salter Brothers’ recently refurbished Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach was featured in HM Magazine with an interview with IHG Area General Manager, Gareth Long.
Congratulations to our Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Hotel Team.
Salter Brothers were pleased to be invited to be part of the HM Magazine 2020 Industry Leaders Forum, published in February/March 2020.
Leading Owners 2020
Salter Brothers is one of Australia’s leading investment managers in the hospitality sector. Following another successful capital raise in the second quarter of 2019, we settled on our 7th asset acquisition in our Australian hotel fund, Next Hotel Brisbane, which saw our fund achieve circa $1 billion in asset value – a fantastic milestone. We also completed our refurbishment and relaunch of the voco hotel Gold Coast in early 2019 and substantially completed major redevelopments and refurbishments of both Crowne Plaza Melbourne and Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach.
Leading our hotel relaunch activity for 2020 is Crowne Plaza Melbourne. We will relaunch this riverfront hotel to the market in June with an additional 40 guestrooms and a new dedicated focus placed on attracting events, conferences, meetings and exhibitions to utilise a variety of new spaces, following the completion of its multimillion–dollar redesign. The hotel has been redeveloped to now include a purpose–built events centre, 10 new flexible meeting spaces and new event dining concepts, with all 430 guest rooms also having been renovated. With a new–look lobby and arrival experience and informal and formal co–working spaces which can be booked by the hour or the day for private meetings, workshops or dining, our new offering aims to capture the evolving trends of our customers.
This story is also very similar for our Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach hotel which will be relaunched in two phases; 1st March with most facilities available and then finally on 1st October, with the new infinity edge pool and pool club with unmatched 180 degree views over the Pacific Ocean.
Also new in 2020 will be the commencement of our dedicated Restaurant and Bars team, which will operate our facilities in the relaunched hotels. Headed up by the much celebrated and extremely talented Executive Chef, Matthew Butcher, we are excited to be investing in, creating and operating innovative new hospitality concepts which will provide on–trend experiences for our hotel customers and local communities and distinguish our hotels from competitors. We’ve created this dedicated team to bring a new approach to operating restaurants and bars (R&B) in hotels in Australia and, along with other owner operators in our sector, will look to reposition hotel R&B experiences to be the first preference for guests.
On the development front, we are progressing our planning on new hotel projects in Canberra and Melbourne. Our site in Canberra is adjacent to our currently held Crowne Plaza Canberra hotel, which neighbours the Canberra Convention Centre and Casino. We plan to commence construction by year–end on a Holiday Inn Express hotel and target the select–service accommodation opportunity in this fantastic location. We also expect further growth opportunities may present and we will remain active on further acquisition opportunities where we see value in line with our investment strategy.
Some other major focuses for the Group in 2020 include furthering our sustainability goals and innovations through technology, delivering improved digital services for guests and improved margins for the business through automation. We have already achieved advancements in our InterContinental Melbourne hotel where we have successfully deployed the AirService in– room tablet innovation. We believe there is much more to be achieved here, given the hotel industry is behind other sectors in their advancements.
We share the view of industry analysts in that we are expecting the markets in 2020 to remain strong, with continued growth in demand for hotel room nights. However, we also anticipate new supply will outpace demand in some markets in 2020 and result in short–term occupancy declines. Again, along with industry analysts’ views, we expect these to recover over time and throughout the period fundamentals will remain positive for investment and investment returns.
As seen on-line
MediSecure, a Salter Brothers Investee Company, was featured in The Australian today as a key player in the Australian Government’s new electronic prescription exchange, to be rolled out in late 2020.
As a leader in the area of digital health, MediSecure’s technology platform sends electronic prescription information between doctors and pharmacists, making dispensed prescriptions secure and safe.
Hotel-focused fund manager Salter Brothers has secured $104 million in fresh equity to partly fund its acquisition of the NEXT Hotel in Brisbane.
The group, led by Brothers Paul and Robert Salter, struck a deal in May to buy the 304-room hotel from Challenger for $150 million. Around 60 per cent of the fresh injection of capital came from Asian-based investors with the raising oversubscribed.
Further capital raisings are planned as the group turns its focus to developing new hotels, including in Melbourne and Canberra, with an eye on potentially floating a $1 billion hotel trust.
“We’ve got a few assets we first want to build and open, and then, if the market conditions are right, we’ll look at doing an IPO,” managing director Paul Salter told The Australian Financial Review in May.
The group made its presence known in December 2015, when it acquired a portfolio of five IHG hotels from Australia Post Super for $500 million.
Its Australian hotel portfolio comprises Crowne Plazas in Melbourne, Coogee and Canberra, the Intercontinental Rialto on Collins Street, a Holiday Inn in Potts Point and voco Gold Coast.
Hotel developments in the works include a new hotel planned at 474 Flinders Lane, a site the Salter brothers bought for $22.8 million in 2007, and a Holiday Inn Express in Canberra.
The most recent acquisition, the NEXT Hotel, is Salter Brothers’ first in Brisbane.
The hotel, operated by Singapore’s next Story Group, opened in 2014 following a $50 million refurbishment of the former Chifley at Lennons hotel. It includes two levels of retail on Queen Street Mall.
Commenting on the latest capital raising, Paul Salter said: “We would like to thank both our existing investors who continue to show faith in our long-term strategy and also a number of new investors that have joined our register.”
Niall McCarthy, director of funds management at Salter Brothers, said: “The significant interest in the Salter Brothers Hotel Group from both sophisticated high net worth investors and institutional investors is testament to the quality of the portfolio, the team and outgoing opportunity that has been developed over the last four years.”
Australian Financial Review
14 July 2019
By Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald
As high-flying hotel tycoons Paul and Robert Salter prepare to float a $1 billion-odd hotel trust, their firm’s private equity arm has snapped up a stake in a “proptech” company. Street Talk can reveal Salter Brothers, which has about $2 billion in assets under management across property, credit and private equity investments, has agreed terms to invest in Sydney-based Hendry Group.
Hendry Group is a national advisory firm focused on risk mitigation and statutory compliance. The company, which was ranked 53rd in the AFR Boss 100 Most Innovative Companies List in 2018, has taken a tech-bent in recent years, with a SAAS platform taking much of what it does online. Hendry Group is led by chief executive Emma Hendry. It’s expected to use Salter Brothers’ capital injection to grow the business. It’s Salter Brothers’ third investment in the fast growing proptech sector, joining its private equity portfolio alongside stakes in DisplaySweet and Airservice. DisplaySweet provides a SAAS platform for property developers, while Airservice is another SAAS platform and targets hotels, resorts, stadiums and restaurants.
Salter Brothers boss Robert Salter told Street Talk he sees Hendry Group as a “dominant and disruptive force” in the proptech sector. “Ms Hendry successfully transitioned Hendry Group to be a first mover in the provision of a SAAS platform in this space, which will allow the company to expand into new markets internationally ” he said Salters Brothers backs proptech company Hendry Group into new markets internationally, he said. “As a company we have been firm in our strategic plans to disrupt the current operating model of our industry and the built-environment more broadly,” Hendry added. “This backing will assist us to drive that change and to future-proof and optimise the built-environment for all.”
Australian Financial Review
22 May 2019
High-flying hotel tycoons Paul and Robert Salter have moved a step closer to floating a $1 billion hotel trust on the Australian Stock Exchange after buying Brisbane’s 304-room Next Hotel from Challenger for $150 million.
The brothers, who originally set up their SB&G Hotel Group investment platform in 2014 in partnership with Michael Gu’s advisory firm iProsperity, set $1 billion of assets under management as the benchmark for a potential float back in 2015.
This was a time when they had joined forces with Lorenz Grollo’s Equiset to acquire a $500 million portfolio of hotels including the Intercontinental Hotel in Melbourne from Eureka Funds Management.
The latest acquisition of the Next Hotel plus two levels of retail on Brisbane’s busy Queen Street Mall is due to settle at the end of July.
The luxury hotel is operated by Singapore’s Next Story Group. It opened in 2014 following a $50 million refurbishment of the former Chifley at Lennons hotel.
Tom Gibson and Simon Rooney from JLL Hotels brokered the off market deal on behalf of Challenger.
Once settled, it will grow the value of the Australian portfolio to more than $1 billion with Salter Brothers (as the group is now known following a parting of the ways with Michael Gu) holding seven Australian hotel, including three Crowne Plaza hotels in Coogee, Melbourne and Canberra.
The speed at which Salter Brothers have built up their fund, backed by high net worth local and offshore investors, highlights how attractive the Australian hotel market has become amid a tourism boom, historically high occupancy rates and a record development pipeline.
Alongside its latest acquisition, Salter Brothers announced a $100 million capital raising through Cedit Suisse and UBS to de-gear the balance sheet and provide scope for further acquisitions and to fund its development of two hotels in Canberra and Melbourne.
Second capital raising
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, managing director Paul Salter said the group planned to undertake a second capital raising of between $120 million and $150 million later in the year, aimed at bringing in cornerstone institutional investors as it worked towards a potential float.
“We’ve got a few assets we first want to build and open, and then, if the market conditions are right, we’ll look at doing an IPO” Mr Salter said.
“We don’t want to have any assets in development [when we go public].”
If successful, it would mark the return of hotels REITS to Australia. Globally, there are many including in Singapore, Hong Kong and the US.
The last Australian hotel REIT, managed by Thakral Holdings, was taken private in 2012.
Plans by James Packer’s Crown to float a $2 billion hotel portfolio were abandoned in 2017.
Mr Salter said the unlisted fund was now delivering internal rates of return of more than 12 per cent.
Market bouncing back
Commenting on the decision to buy its first Brisbane hotel, Mr Salter said he took the view that the Brisbane market was coming back after absorbing a lot of new supply.
More broadly, he said the corporate hotel market where Salter is focused was not impacted much by Airbnb and the “shadow” accommodation sector.
“Melbourne has always stepped up to absorb new supply and Sydney is still a cracking market,” he said.
SBG were pleased to be invited to be part of the HM Magazine 2019 Industry Leaders Forum, published in February/March 2019.
Business outlook for 2019
As an international specialist fund manager with a focus across a range of asset classes and geographies, innovation continues to be a key theme and driving factor across SB&G’s operations for 2019. While 2018 was a year of expansion and acquisition for SB&G, 2019 will be a year of consolidation and active asset management within our Hotel Group. CapEx will be up on 2018, but our spending this year will be strategically focused on our existing portfolio with investments planned to improve existing products, introduce new offerings and to progress our plans for bringing brand new hotel developments to market.
Value-add initiatives: Crowne Plaza Melbourne & Coogee
In support of our market opportunities in 2019, we have a number of value-add initiatives in play to strategically position our assets to perform well against competitors. This includes completing the refurbishment of Crowne Plaza Melbourne where we will be increasing our room count by another 35 rooms and increasing our meeting space facilities by 100%, taking the asset to 1200sqm, and opening up new customer and business segment opportunities. We also plan to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach over the winter where we will add an additional 10 rooms and 150 sqm of meeting space, and relaunch with two new restaurant & bar facilities.
New Developments: Melbourne & Canberra
With regards to new build hotels, we will be progressing plans for our two developments in Canberra and Melbourne. Our property at 475 Flinders Lane, Melbourne was acquired in 2017 and our vision here is for a new 350+ room upscale hotel, scheduled to be completed in 2020. In Canberra, a new Holiday Inn Express will be added to the current Crowne Plaza site, complementing the existing hotel and diversifying the offering.
Hotel Investment, Operations & Development
We consider hotel development across Australia to be at its peak right now which means there is a massive injection of talented new staff required. We have now fully recruited and established an experienced, industry specialist hotels team at SB&G with recognized capabilities in hotel investment, operations & development. We take an active investment management approach and will be setting high expectations from our management companies and key partners such as InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), to invest in attracting, developing and retaining talent to fill our asset requirements, and in support we will invest in ensuring our assets have programs and facilities to promote a strong staff culture, opportunities to learn and opportunities for career advancement.
Market outlooks for 2019 and industry impacts
Whilst we consider we may face some head winds in our various markets at different times in 2019 with either new supply entries, a short-term election-related travel slow down or possible refurbishment timeline changes, our projections for the markets we operate in are positive, with strong underlying fundamentals remaining.
With many commentators forecasting for unemployment to remain low and potentially further decrease, we consider this to be a very positive factor in driving continued growth in our markets providing our hotels in 2019 an opportunity to outperform 2018 trading.
A focus on Hotel Restaurants & Bars
Further to the refurbishments across Crowne Plaza Melbourne and Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, we will be innovating our restaurant and bar model across our portfolio together with hotel management partner IHG, by creating new restaurant facilities and new talent to deliver on-trend experiences.
New in-room technologies
As Crowne Plaza hotels and other brands in our portfolio largely cater to business travellers and to the corporate and MICE market segments, in another planned value-add to increase guest satisfaction and stay preference, we will roll out new in-room technologies across certain portfolio hotels following successful prototyping conducted last year. We are focused on delivering improved technology and connectivity within our hotels and an overall quality experience through greater flexibility and personalisation.
voco – Gold Coast
A new opportunity for trading growth in our Group in 2019 is our recently acquired voco Gold Coast property. During Q3 & Q4 of 2018 the hotel went through a refurbishment and rebranding to launch as the first IHG ‘voco” branded hotel in the world. The hotel commences the 2019 year now primarily positioned as one of the Gold Coast’s leading upscale hotels equipped with a fresh new product and service culture to lure guests seeking an on-trend experience. This, we expect, together with the low Australian dollar helping to drive increased domestic tourism and the upgrade works at the Gold Coast airport delivering increased airlift capacity, will drive a significant increase in annualised earnings from this property.
Expectations for year ahead
With the outlook for 2019 and two new hotel builds scheduled for 2020, SB&G will this year launch a significant capital raise towards our stated target of $1billion.
Our focus for the coming year will be to maintain a competitive edge across our portfolio through the deployment of refurbishments and value-add initiatives. In particular, the changes to restaurant and bar offerings across the Group will emerge as a key point of difference and innovation.
The culture at SB&G is about thinking differently, encouraging our team members to use their experience to analyse opportunities from multiple perspectives and to create new ways of working and partnering with brands and people we trust. It is a culture we are proud of and we believe underpins our success.
Our achievements and investments over the last twelve months have set us up for an exciting year and we are looking forward to working hard and building on this success throughout 2019.
As seen on-line
SB&G Group were very pleased to receive this wonderful review of our newly refurbished Crowne Plaza Melbourne Hotel last Sunday, 13th January 2019.
The review appeared across the major Australian newspapers of the The Sunday Age (Melbourne) and the Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney).
Congratulations to our Crowne Plaza Melbourne Hotel Team.
The Crowne Plaza Melbourne perches on the banks of the bustling Yarra – closer, we are assured, than any other Melbourne hotel. And the views of the river we gawk at as we enter our rooms attest to that. Much as the Yarra and the riverfront have been transformed over the past few years, so has this hotel, with the recent unveiling of a 12-month, $25 million refurbishment of its 402 guestrooms.
The hotel is a short walk to Crown Casino and Southbank restaurants, and the free City Circle Tram Stop is out the front. But the real drawcard is the river. Once the butt of jokes because of its brownish waters, locals and visitors alike are now keen to walk across the Yarra (on various bridges), drink on it (Ponyfish Island) and race each other on it. Kayaks, canoes and other small boats are everywhere and the shores are teeming with walkers, joggers and cyclists. There is also a new ‘‘beach’’ – bathing boxes, deckchairs and even sand on the riverbank in the nearby Wharf Hotel.
A pleasant yet subtle fragrance hits you as you walk into the Crowne Plaza’s lobby. The scent (a secret) hints at an opulence and refinement that is now evident in the hotel’s refurbished rooms, but is perhaps lacking in the yet-to-be-transformed public areas. The lobby looks tired but the good news is that phase two of the refurbishment is set for mid-this year, when this area and the hotel’s outdoor heated pool, bar, restaurant and gymwill be redesigned. Meanwhile, business guests can enjoy work hubs and meeting rooms and take advantage of the hotel’s proximity to Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.
As mentioned, our luxury suites have views that can’t help but take centre stage. But there is much more to be happy about. The generous rooms are in muted grey but are light-filled and highlighted by a pop of electric blue from a designer chair, and some shimmering wall art by Australian photographer Judith Martinez. My lounge area has a sofa, large desk, fridge, pod coffee machine, kettle and assorted teas. The bedroom offers an equally spectacular river
view plus a king-sized bed blessed with premium bedding, clever lighting, a large wardrobe with towelling robes, a safe and ironing board. But the star of the show is the bathroom, with a deep tub with its own view to the river, a walk-in shower and separate toilet. The vanity is simply beautiful, with a large, gold-coloured mirror above a bowl basin. The hotel’s city view rooms have big workstations and walk-in wardrobes
The in-house restaurant, the Clarendon St Grill, is also in line for the 2019 revamp. The menu has all the good standards: salmon, salt-grass lamb, smoked pork belly and Gippsland steaks. But it is a vast and dark space and we spot just one other diner in a far corner. And this is Melbourne, the sun is shining and we are keen to sample what the city does best: feed people.We take a short cab ride to Hardware Lane for a bowl of pasta but there are many, many options nearby, including Southbank. Meanwhile, back at the Crowne, the in-house restaurant is more attractive the next day as a breakfast option, offering a buffet, with a good selection including pancakes, fresh omelettes and congee.
Take advantage of the free Melbourne city tram to seek out some of what Melbourne does best: food, bars, cafes, fashion and art. Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Aquarium, Docklands and the Queen Victoria and South Melbourne markets are all nearby. To take advantage of the hotel’s river location in summer, pull up a deck chair at the Yarra Beach Bar at the nearby Wharf Hotel for a taste of Melbourne quirk.
This hotel has been caught midtransformation. Judging by the bedrooms that have already been refitted, the upgrade will be something special and fitting for a landmark property that sits in such a vibrant and convenient location.
Rooms from $265 a night. 1-5 Spencer
Street, Melbourne. Phone (03) 9648 2777.
Jane Richards travelled toMelbourne at her own expense and was a guest of Crowne Plaza, Melbourne.
OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE
HIGHLIGHT THOSE LARGE WINDOWS FRAMING SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE YARRA AND THE CITY SKYLINE.
LOWLIGHT A SLIP-UP IN THE NEW BATHROOM: THE BASIN HAS NO SOAP HOLDER.