Fresh reports are suggesting that Sheraton Melbourne in Little Collins Street could soon be snapped up by Qatar Airways, in what would mark the first dip into the local hotel poor for the Gulf carrier.
Per The Australian, Qatar Airways has long been keen on getting into the Aussie hotel market, in particular in some of the airline’s main cities serviced by their network, hence the focus on Melbourne.
The Oz also suggests it could snag the Sheraton property for around $135 million.
Melbourne-based developer Golden Age popped little old Sheraton on the market back in January, with hopes of getting as much as $140 million for it, per The Australian, after owner Jeff Xu bought a site adjacent to the Sheraton in Melbourne’s Spring Street.
By flogging the Sheraton Hotel – with its 174 rooms – Xu ensured his company would have enough cash to fund new projects in both Melbourne and Sydney.
Qatar Airways currently owns the Novotel Edinburgh Park Hotel in Scotland, which is managed by Accor, as well as the five-star Oryx Rotana Hotel and Hamad International Airport Hotel in its home country.
The Australian writes that Qatar Airways emerged as a fairly decent sized player in the hotel business after acquiring the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2015, however Sheraton has a long-term management agreement over its Melbourne property, so any purchase would likely leave the Sheraton brand and operations in place.