Host Hotels & Resorts sells Christchurch Ibis and Novotel hotels

(Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square)

In Christchurch, New Zealand, the 154-room Novotel and 155-room Ibis hotels were sold for a combined purchase price of about $43 million to an offshore investment company with an existing New Zealand hotel portfolio. The properties went on the market in March.

The sales, according to Dean Humphries, Colliers’ national director of hotels (who marketed the properties), mark the end of a 15-month divestment program by Host Hotels & Resorts of the company's entire New Zealand hotel portfolio. This included the Novotel Auckland Ellerslie, Ibis Auckland Ellerslie, Novotel Wellington, Ibis Wellington and Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, as well as the two Christchurch hotels, the last assets in the portfolio to sell.

With a total of 309 rooms, the combined sale is the largest single hotel transaction, by room count, completed in New Zealand over the past 18 months, surpassing last year's sales of the 273-room Novotel Queenstown and the 247-room Novotel and Ibis Auckland Ellerslie.

“This portfolio, with a total of 1,158 guestrooms, represented the sale of the largest tranche of hotels completed in New Zealand since the NYSE-listed hotel REIT acquired these assets from Tourism Asset Holdings Limited and AccorHotels in December 2010,” Humphries said.

The five sales of the seven hotels in the portfolio generated a total reported price of about $257 million, an increase of about 38 percent on the original reported acquisition price of about $186 million.

Humphries, who was involved in the sale of all seven hotels, told the Herald that Host Hotels & Resorts decision to individually divest each asset, as opposed to a portfolio sale, was a wise one. “Record prices were achieved for each asset, so the vendor secured a very large premium. The record prices were also a reflection of the current strength of the New Zealand hotel investment market.”

AccorHotels will continue to manage the properties.