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.”