In what represents an extremely timely move as the Asia-Pacific tourism sector begins its post-pandemic recovery, high-profile hotel industry investment executives Phil Kasselis, Luke Sullivan and Ed Faraguna have joined resources to found H-PEP (Hospitality Private Equity Partners).
The highly experienced trio brings substantial expertise to the sector in funds management, hotel deal origination, active asset management, development, operations, debt, and structuring following an extensive period working in senior roles in leading Asia Pacific hotel investment platforms.
A private equity real estate firm, H-PEP has been established to take advantage of the current market cycle in Asia Pacific, targeting hotel investment opportunities with the potential for adding value through refurbishments, rebranding, and revitalisation to optimise performance in what is the most competitive market environment in decades.
H-PEP’s raison d’etre is dedicated to investing in hospitality assets with value-add potential with the purpose of providing its investors with access to hotel investment opportunities through a fund structure, separately managed accounts, and/or direct investment.
Already established with a presence in Singapore, H-PEP will focus on hotels in the upscale, upper-upscale and luxury segments, in gateway cities and resort locations in markets throughout the region.
Discussions are already underway with investors regarding the raising of US500 million for Asia-Pacific hospitality opportunities.
Announcing the launch of H-PEP, Phil Kasselis said that COVID had caused the most profound change to the tourism and hotel landscape in decades.
“There is no doubt that COVID has adversely impacted the performance of many hotels and resorts located across Asia Pacific,” he said.
“The current market cycle presents enormous opportunities to acquire underperforming assets, implement value enhancing asset management strategies, and take advantage of a post-COVID travel recovery in one of the world’s most dynamic regions.”
“We are already seeing strong investor appetite in the hotel sector with prominent investment groups such as GIC, Blackstone, Partners Group and KSL Capital Partners active in Asia Pacific.
“Launching a private equity real estate platform solely dedicated to investing in hospitality assets is a natural evolution for the three of us. Our experience with leading fund managers including Pro-invest Group, Ascendas (now CapitaLand), Colonial First State and Mirvac Group has given us a proven track record in hospitality operations, investment management and asset management.
“We see the time as being ripe to establish a dynamic and agile company such as H-PEP to enable investors to take advantage of once-in-a-generation circumstances and build value in the hotel sector.”