China continuation: Sunshine Insurance acquires Sydney Sheraton for large sum

First Anbang, now Sunshine. Looks like China-based insurance companies sure have a taste for hotels, these days. Appears the record October sale of the Waldorf Astoria in New York was only the beginning. Today we learn that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has sold the 557-room Sheraton on the Park, in Sydney, Australia, to Sunshine Insurance Group Corporation AUS$463 million, which equates into around US$399 million. That's also roughly $716,000 per key.

Starwood will continue to operate the hotel as a Sheraton under a long-term management contract.
“We are pleased to advance our asset-light strategy with the sale of the iconic Sheraton on the Park hotel and look forward to working closely with SIG to ensure its continued success,” said Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood. “The terms of this sale underscore the strength of the Sheraton brand and the success of this hotel, as well as the tremendous value of this property in a high barrier to entry market.”

Including this sale and the recent sales of The St. Regis Rome, the Sheraton Ambassador Monterrey hotel, and The St. Regis Bal Harbour, Starwood has completed over US $1.5 billion of hotel asset sales over the last three years, the company said.
And it sounds like Starwood isn't done. “We’re continuing to see strong investor interest around the world for our remaining assets, and remain committed to finding the right owners and partners while securing long-term management contracts in order to create value for our shareholders.”
The hotel is located opposite Hyde Park, and includes a rooftop health club, indoor heated pool and spa.
“Sheraton on the Park will help diversify our holdings by giving us a trophy asset in Sydney—a leading travel destination and an important financial center in Asia Pacific,” said the executive director of SIG’s acquisition team. “As Starwood’s largest and most global brand, Sheraton has cultivated a loyal following by offering travelers a stylish, comfortable atmosphere and a social guest experience.”

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Law firm Baker & McKenzie advised Starwood on the deal and as partner Graeme Dickson said, the deal was big and complex. “This has been a mammoth transaction, the sheer complexity of which will be difficult to describe to anyone outside the deal teams. What impressed me most is the degree of respect and friendliness, which was evident at every stage. This bodes well for the long-term relationship that the parties have embarked upon.”

China continues to me a major force in hotel acquisitions, as we opined last week. And as evidenced by this month's sale of Louvre Hotels by Starwood Capital to China's Jin Jiang for around $1.5 billion.