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Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has advised an affiliate of City Developments Ltd (CDL) – the largest non-government-backed developer in Singapore – on its A$177.7 million acquisition of the Sofitel Brisbane Central hotel and business. The transaction is believed to be the largest single Singaporean investment in Australian property this year.  

CDL, through a joint venture equally owned by its Millennium and Copthorne Hotels and M&C New Zealand hospitality subsidiaries, signed an agreement with Brookfield Asset Management in March 2023 to acquire the hotel and business. 

The hotel will continue to be managed by global hospitality investor, Accor Group, under its Sofitel brand following completion of the acquisition.

The HSF team was led by Senior Adviser for Real Estate Michael Back, Executive Counsel Leone Costigan and Partner Nicholas Cowie with the support of Senior Associate, Danica Corbett and solicitors Angelina Vukovic, Isabella Le Mare-Hutton and Phillip Armstrong. Managing Partner for Corporate, Matthew Fitzgerald and solicitors Crusoe Flynn-Pittar and Nini Lu also supported the deal on the business aspects of the transaction.  Tom Hoare, Partner, assisted on Warranty & Indemnity issues and Wendy Fauvel and Rommo Pandit provided specialist employment input.

Real Estate Partner, Mr Nicholas Cowie, said HSF was pleased to advise on CDL’s latest acquisition. 

“This transaction is the latest in a string of investments by Singaporean companies in Australian real estate over the past 12 – 18 months, reinforcing Australia’s status as a favoured, transparent and stable destination for Singaporean property investors,” Mr Cowie said. 

“It’s been a pleasure to work with CDL and its joint venture subsidiaries on this acquisition. This acquisition represents the growth opportunities within the Queensland market, following several years of travel uncertainty during the pandemic, and especially with the approach of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics,” he said. 

HSF’s other market leading work in the property M&A sector includes advising:

  • Greenland Australia on the sale of Sydney’s Primus Hotel and business for over A$130 million; 
  • Link REIT on the A$532.8 million acquisition of a 50% stake in the Sydney Queen Victoria Building, The Strand Arcade and The Galeries; and 
  • HThree City on its A$236 million acquisition (together with co-investor CDL) of 330 Collins Street, an A-grade commercial office tower in Melbourne.

Key contacts

Nicholas Cowie photo

Nicholas Cowie

Partner, Sydney

Nicholas Cowie
Michael Back photo

Michael Back

Senior Adviser, Brisbane

Michael Back
Leone Costigan photo

Leone Costigan

Executive Counsel, Brisbane

Leone Costigan

Media contact

For further information on this news article, please contact:

Rose Dougherty

External Communications Manager


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