Private equity firm Nadathur Fareast is set to acquire Australia-based Touraust Corporation’s Constellation Hotels business for an undisclosed sum, according to various media reports.

The Nadathur Group has been founded by Infosys co-founder Nadathur S Raghavan, with a portfolio worth about $600 million (Rs 2,700 crore) across asset classes and investment life cycles – right from angel and venture funds to private equity, public equity and debt. Raghavan has backed 30 start-ups, investing more than $70 million or around Rs 315 crore in technology, healthcare and life sciences companies.

Under the current deal, Nadathur Fareast will acquire over 60 hotels in Australia and New Zealand. The portfolios also include Chifley, Australis Resorts and Hotels and Country Comfort brands. The company also operates the Sundowner Motels brand and owns six hotels in New Zealand.

“The sale has secured a strong future for Constellation Hotels, its people, brands and unique business platform,” Touraust Corporation’s chairman and founder Darryl Courtney-O’Connor commented on the sale, according to Property Observer.

Hospitality is one of the strategic businesses under the PE firm’s exposure to real estate-related asset class where it focuses upon boutique properties across urban and leisure projects, primarily located in Asia. It has also set up Ativa Hospitality, a Bangkok-based boutique hotel management company, specialised in the development and management of independent deluxe boutique hotels. The company currently focuses on developing projects in Cambodia, India, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Constellation Hotels is the second acquisition by the Nadathur Group in the hospitality sector. In 2009, Nadathur’s arm Ativa Hospitality in 2009 purchased a majority stake in Bangkok-based Bed Management Company (BMC), which operates a chain of boutique hotels and resorts in Thailand and Cambodia.

The acquisition has helped Ativa in gaining access to the markets in Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and south-western provinces of China. BMC has properties which it controls or manages in these regions.

BMC also operates hotel like Hotel De la Paix and Shinta Mani Hotel at Siem Reap in Cambodia. Plus, the company has management tie-ups with Indigo Pearl and Trisara at Phuket in Thailand. Now, BMC’s management team is looking at expanding the boutique hospitality services in the South East Asian markets. 

In April this year, Nadathur Group struck a joint venture agreement with Singapore-based Sunshine Travels & Tours Ltd, a subsidiary of the Sunshine Holdings Plc., to float Silver Needle Hospitality in Singapore. This joint venture is expected to invest approximately $50 million in a phased manner to develop, acquire and manage hotel assets in different parts of Singapore.

Silver Needle Hospitality intends to be an integrated Asian hospitality company and will make investments across the hospitality sector. The entity will develop several of its own signature hotels and resorts, and will manage three, four and five star properties across the Asia-Pacific. Silver Needle also plans to have over 10,000 rooms in its network, available in five years across the Asia-Pacific.

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