Australia's GPT Group sells tourism assets for A$84.9 million

One of Australia's largest diversified property groups, General Property Trust Ltd. (GPT) has agreed to sell a number of resort assets in the hotel / tourism portfolio and also the Group's 80-per cent interest in the Hamburg Trust business to a range of buyers, the company announced yesterday.

So far, the company has sold or agreed to sell; Cradle Mountain Lodge, Silky Oaks Lodge, Dunk Island Resort, Bedarra Island Resort, Lizard Island Resort, Heron & Wilson Island Resorts, El Questro, Kings Canyon Resort (GPT's 46-per cent interest), Alice Springs Resort and Wrotham Park Lodge.

The settlement on individual assets is expected to be completed within the next three months.

GPT expects to generate A$84.9 million from the sale proceeds which it intends to use to reduce the debt. The price represents a 40-per cent discount to the December 2008 book value of the assets.

Michael Cameron, chief executive officer said, ''We are focused on the execution of our strategy to exit the non-core portfolios and are pleased with the progress to date. The Group continues to progress the sale of the remaining non core assets and will provide a further update with GPT's half year results on 27 August 2009.''
 
GPT has also sold its 80 per cent interest in Hamburg Trust business. Hamburg Trust is a closed end fund platform established by GPT and Hamburg Trust management in July 2007. GPT's interest in the platform has been sold for a nominal sum against a valuation at December 2008 of zero.

A few more hotel and tourism assets; Brampton Island Resort, Ayers Rock Resort and Four Points Sheraton will be sold in the near future for which negotiations are underway.