Nedbank Corporate Property Finance deal brings Westin ownership home

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The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays in Cape Town The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays in Cape Town

Nedbank Corporate Property Finance has provided funding to the Hospitality Property Fund Ltd (HPF) for the R750 million acquisition of the Arabella portfolio of hotels, effectively putting ownership of these prestigious properties in the hands of South Africans.

The portfolio comprises two exceptional hospitality properties: The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays in Cape Town and The Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa near Hermanus.

The portfolio was previously owned by Arabella South Africa Holding P/L, which was 100% owned by the German Schorghuber Stiftung and Co. Holding KG.

The jewel in the portfolio is undoubtedly the Westin Grand, a landmark luxury hotel established in August 2003 with an unrivalled offering of 483 superior guest rooms, sophisticated meeting venues, extensive conferencing and banqueting facilities, two restaurants, a bar and a cigar lounge, as well as the multiple award-winning Arabella Spa.

Superbly located on Convention Square in Lower Long Street, this 5-star business and conferencing hotel is close to the Cape Town city centre and to the V&A Waterfront.

It is not only physically connected to the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), but is also contractually secured as the official partner of the CTICC, regarded as the leading conference destination in Africa.

Named the “Best Business Hotel in South Africa” (World Travel Awards 2008) and listed among the top five hotels on the African continent (Conde Nast Traveller US 2006 Readers’ Choice Poll), the Westin Grand has been extremely well managed by the Arabella Starwood Hotels consortium to date, and a new management agreement has been concluded with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

The 5-star Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa and the 18-hole Arabella Golf Course were established in 2001 on the 112-hectare Arabella Country Estate in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve near Hermanus and just 100 kilometres from Cape Town.

The hotel offers a unique African experience encompassing 117 deluxe guest rooms, 26 suites and two presidential suites. It features comprehensive conferencing facilities, one of South Africa’s most prestigious health spas and a top-rated golf course, named “Top Golf Course in the Western Cape" (Golf Digest 2009) and a “5-Star Golf Experience” (The Compleat Golfer magazine 2009).

The property includes a further 437 hectares of land for future development

“These hospitality properties are among the finest in South Africa, and we are delighted to be part of the deal which sees the ownership of these properties back on home soil,” comments Ken Reynolds, a Nedbank Corporate Property Finance regional executive.

“HPF is a reputable listed property loan stock company, which invests exclusively in hotel and leisure properties, with a large portfolio of existing hotels boasting a solid track record.

Given their extensive experience and expertise in asset and property management in the local hospitality industry, we have complete confidence that HPF is ideally positioned to do justice to the significant potential of this prized hospitality portfolio.”

Gerald Nelson, CEO of HPF, adds “While this transaction was extremely complex and took an inordinate amount of time to bed down, it was well worth it as the assets are world class.

We are confident that the robust performance of these properties, together with the unlocking of the development potential at the Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa, will provide a strong underpin to the Fund’s future performance.”



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