Deacons acted for MFS in one of the year’s largest acquisitions in the tourism sector — its $210 million acquisition of two five star Sheraton Mirage Resorts in Queensland from Japanese corporation Nippon Shinpan.
The transaction related to the Sheraton Mirage resorts on the Gold Coast and in Port Douglas, and their associate facilities, which included a retail centre, country club, golf course, tennis courts, commercial centre, marina, beachfront subdivision and surplus land adjoining the golf course.
Deacons worked on the due diligence, redevelopment advice, financing of the transaction, structure of the stamp duty and tax, and completion of the purchase. Partner David Colenso led the firm’s Brisbane-based property and finance teams on the deal, with partners Matt Derrick, Greg Mann, Tom Young and Craig Chapman.
Colenso said the transaction was complicated by the fact that MFS viewed the resorts as different performing assets. “[They] used four separate vehicles to acquire different parts of the resorts,” he said.
As well as the hotel assets, golf course, shopping centres and land available for redevelopment, the deal includes potential for strata titling of both hotels and the possibility of redeveloping the shopping centre and the marina at the golf course.
MFS entered into what was essentially a joint venture with the Ray Group, which owned the land adjoining the Port Douglas resort, to make the acquisitions.
“I was the lead partner because essentially both acquisitions were property plays rather than hotel plays,” Colenso said, adding that the collaboration with the Ray Group would enable MFS to make the best use of the assets acquired.
“The vision is to restructure the assets to extricate the hidden value out of them,” Colenso said.
Allens Arthur Robinson, led by Tony Davies from the Brisbane office, acted for the vendors.