Invesco Real Estate (IRE), the global real estate investment manager, is pleased to announce that it has acquired two newly built four-star hotels at Berlin's Alexanderplatz for ca. 60 million in a sale and leaseback acquisition with Azure Property Group.
This brings to 25 the total number of hotels IRE now has under management within its two dedicated hotel funds, with eight assets within the firm's second hotel fund portfolio.
The two hotels, which are newly-built and opened on May 1, 2012, are long-let on two 20-year hybrid lease agreements to Azure Property Group, an established international operator who will operate the hotels under franchise agreements with InterContinental Hotels under their Holiday Inn and Indigo brands.
Marc Socker, IRE's Director Hotel Fund Management comments: "We are delighted with the acquisition of these hotels, which are well located at Alexanderplatz, a strong and upcoming location in the heart of Berlin. Our investment focus is always on the fundamentals; that is high quality, mid-market hotels, good investment lot sizes, strategic location, brand strength, high operator expertise and the long lease terms.
"This acquisition ticks all of these boxes in addition to providing diversification to the portfolio in terms of geographic location, as Berlin is one of Germany's most dynamic hotel markets and this is our first investment here."
The hotels comprise a 242-room Holiday Inn and a 153-room Indigo hotel. They are prominently located and highly visible on Otto-Braun-Strasse, an important thoroughfare close to Alexanderplatz, the eastern center of Berlin and currently part of the city's largest regeneration scheme. The properties are well located in terms of tourist attractions and transport hubs being within walking distance of one of Berlin's busiest railway hubs, bus networks and within 20 minutes' train ride of the new international Berlin-Brandenburg airport.
"Berlin is Germany's largest city and, interestingly, even during the financial crisis, overnight hotel demand was growing and for the first time hit the 20 million annual visitors mark in 2010, the largest of any German city. Major infrastructural improvements in the city such as a new international airport, expanding conference venues and regeneration projects will likely increase Berlin's appeal as an international travel and business destination, in our view," says Socker.
John Nielsen, Azure Hotels' Managing Director of Operations, says: "We are really delighted with our continued co-operation with Invesco Real Estate with whom we have undertaken a number of transactions, including the leased hotel property, Radisson Blu Hamburg.
"We are very excited about our newest co-operation, The Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo Alexanderplatz, located in the very heart of Berlin. Hotel Indigo is Intercontinental Group's newest and most exciting brand and Berlin is the perfect city in Germany to launch such a brand. The Holiday Inn Alexanderplatz will further strengthen the world's most recognized hotel brand and set a precedent for the next generation of Holiday Inn hotels.
"By working with institutions such as IRE, Azure aims at expanding its European hotel presence as both owner and operator."
IRE's dedicated European hotel funds currently own, in total, 25 mid-market hotels with over 5,500 rooms across Europe with total assets under management of ca. 925 million.
Source: Invesco Real Estate