New Westin hotel here changes hands

New Westin hotel here changes hands
HOT PROPERTY: The Westin Singapore, located on levels 32 to 46 of Asia Square Tower 2, overlooks Marina Bay. The hotel officially opened its doors to guests last month.

Just over a month after officially opening its doors to guests, The Westin Singapore hotel has been sold for $468 million to Japan-based property developer and investor Daisho Group.

Daisho's acquisition of the 305-room, 99-year-leasehold hotel - located in the 46-storey Asia Square Tower 2 in Marina Bay - is its maiden investment in Singapore. The purchase price translates to a hefty S$1.5 million per room, possibly a new record for a hotel here.

Earlier this year, Bright Ruby Resources was reported to have paid between S$1.4 million and S$1.5 million per room for the freehold Grand Park Orchard Hotel.

BT understands that The Westin Singapore transaction was sealed just before Christmas. The seller is a fund managed under MGPA, a private-equity property-investment advisory firm. MGPA's original asking price was S$2 million per room, or about S$610 million in total.

MGPA is currently owned by asset manager BlackRock.

Daisho Development Singapore director Mamoru Kohda said that Daisho decided to acquire the hotel because of its location and the group's view on room demand in the area.

"We think that there are not enough hotel rooms here. Also, the Marina Bay area is developing very quickly and has a very strong pool of office tenants, so we will be strongly supported by a corporate clientele," he said.

The Westin Singapore occupies levels 32 to 46, with offices taking up the bulk of the remaining floors.

Mr Lance Ourednik, general manager of The Westin Singapore, said: "The sale and ownership change do not affect the daily operation and management of the hotel. The Westin Singapore continues to fly the Westin flag and be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide."

Market experts whom BT spoke to said that the amount paid represents expectations of strong future earnings, and a premium for a brand-new hotel.

This article by The Business Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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