SCF receiver sells troubled Auckland Hyatt Regency hotel
By Paul McBeth
Nov. 24 (BusinessDesk) – Failed lender South Canterbury Finance Ltd.’s receiver has sold the Auckland Hyatt Regency hotel for between $50 million and $60 million.
Real estate agency Jones Lang Lasalle Hotels national director Dean Humphries told BusinessDesk the buyer had ties to New Zealand, but wanted to remain anonymous for the moment while the ink on the contract dries. The deal is expected to settle in late January. The sale didn’t require Overseas Investment Office approval as it was under $100 million and didn’t include sensitive land.
“The process we went through enabled us to get the best price and terms,” Humphries said. “The market’s still in global recession with limited capital and access to debt difficult to come by” and closing the deal was pleasing, he said.
The Hyatt was SCF’s biggest single exposure at $42.3 million in a second-ranking mortgage. The lender’s shuffling ownership of the hotel led to the Serious Fraud Office pressing the National Business Review for documents and tapes relating to an investigation into SCF’s affairs, which subsequently saw the white-collar crime office up the ante in its probe.
Humphries said the new owner will have to decide on whether it sticks with the Hyatt brand, and that management contracts were often reviewed during sales.
SCF collapsed at the end of August after a protracted bid to keep the firm alive failed to bring on new investors.
The failure sparked a call on the government’s retail deposit guarantee, which saw Finance Minister Bill English immediately pay $1.775 billion for the Crown to take the role as sole creditor.