Ascott REIT's Element New York Times Square WestAscott REIT's Element New York Times Square West (Photo: Element New York Times Square)

Singapore-listed hospitality REIT, Ascott REIT (SGX:A68U), has marked its first foray into the United States by acquiring the Element New York Times Square West hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

The 411-key property is being acquired for for USD163.5 million (SGD220.7 million), the REIT announced on 2 July. Upon acquisition, the property will be operated under the ‘Element’ brand through a franchise by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

“The accretive acquisition at an EBITDA yield of 6.2% is expected to increase Ascott REIT’s distribution income in FY 2014 by USD0.8 million, translating to a rise in distribution per unit from 8.44 cents to 8.51 cents on a pro forma basis”, it said.

The acquisition follows Ascott REIT’s purchase of three serviced residences and four rental housing properties in Australia and Japan.

“This US acquisition and our recent acquisitions in Australia and Japan with a total of 1,563 units will broaden Ascott REIT’s earning base and increase our scale to 11,779 units”m said Lim Jit Poh, the Chairman of Ascott REIT’s manager. “Ascott REIT’s asset size will also increase by SGD519 million to SGD4.6 billion”, he added.

Units of Ascott REIT last changed hands on the Singapore Exchange at SGD1.30.

Ascott REIT's Element New York Times Square West
Ascott REIT's Element New York Times Square West (Photo: Element New York Times Square)

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.