Sam Arnaout Iris Capital doubles down at Lasseters Hotel Casino with $ 100 million and transformation


Australian hotel group Iris Capital is doubling its investment in Lasseters Hotel Casino with the intention of spending more than $ 100 million on the newly acquired asset to create a world-class tourist destination for Australia’s red heart.

The Sydney-based company, led by Sam Arnaout, has settled the $ 105 million acquisition of the iconic Alice Springs casino complex and has announced plans for a major property transformation to capitalize on a market tourist eager to travel as interstate and international borders reopen.

Iris Capital acquired Lasseters Hotel Casino from its long-time owner, the Singapore-listed Lasseters International Holdings group, after obtaining regulatory approval from the Government of the Northern Territory to operate the casino after a comprehensive seven-month process. Approval was given on Friday October 8.

The company is one of Australia’s largest private real estate and hotel groups, which has significantly expanded its presence over the past year with the acquisition of 17 Ibis hotels from AccorInvest.

This agreement added more than 2,000 rooms to Iris Capital’s portfolio with the acquisition of Lasseters further increasing this number.

Lasseters Hotel Casino, which became famous in the 1994 Australian feature film Priscilla Queen of the Desert, is a 4.5-star resort with 205 rooms and operated by the InterContinental hotel group.

The purchase includes the Alice Springs Convention Center, with 320 arcade machines, and a plethora of restaurants and bars.

Iris Capital is planning a major expansion of the resort’s assets, including the construction of a new hotel, modernized convention center and residential offering that will reposition the property as an iconic Australian destination for a global market.

“We are well advanced in the discussions with the government of the Northern Territory concerning the recapitalization of the assets”, said M. Arnaout.

“Our master plan for Lasseters integrates a new hotel offering within a fully integrated complex and includes a repositioned casino floor with significantly expanded food and beverage offerings.

“The investment aims to capture pent-up demand for new national tourist destinations, as well as the international travel market, while capitalizing on the mining industry’s links with the region.

Mr. Arnaout said Iris Capital’s plans align with the combined vision of the Government of the Northern Territory and Tourism NT for Alice Springs to be Australia’s Inland Capital by strengthening its appeal as a global tourism icon and carrying out a pipeline of existing and upcoming major projects, offering significant investments and jobs. creation in central Australia.

“We are taking a pioneering position with a significant investment which we believe will serve as a catalyst for further investment in the region,” he said.

“We’re getting down to business to make sure the hotel and casino are ready to align with the government’s tourism vision for the region. We believe our plans will be of great benefit to local stakeholders and other investors.

“With international flights already serving Alice Springs, the infrastructure is there for this region to attract new investment from tourism operators and bring the red center closer to a global travel hungry market. “

Iris Capital’s plans for Lasseters Hotel Casino are still subject to government approvals.

“I am incredibly proud that our company has been recognized as a fit and appropriate organization to harness this premium Northern Territory asset,” said Mr. Arnaout. “We look forward to continuing to work with government to realize this asset for the benefit of the state and the community.

For more than 25 years, Iris Capital’s investment and development activities have enabled the company to create $ 3 billion in enterprise value. The group currently generates annual sales of $ 500 million and employs more than 1,200 people across Australia.

Iris Capital’s credentials in property development led to the selection of the company in 2016 through a competitive government tender process to undertake a major urban renewal project in Newcastle, the development of a billion dollars in the East End located at the eastern end of the city’s CBD.

The company recently announced an $ 800 million redevelopment of Niecon Plaza at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, which will transform the heart of the booming seaside suburb of the tourism capital.

Associated reading: Lasseters Hotel Casino sold to Sam Arnaout Iris Capital for $ 105 million

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