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MA Financial acquires the d'Albora marina portfolio for $225m to seed new fund
Sydney Harbour
Published 20 April 2023
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  • d’Albora is Australia’s largest premium marina network consisting of 10 marinas including the iconic Rushcutters Bay and The Spit in Sydney.
  • MA Financial to launch the MA Marina Fund, offering exposure to in-demand alternative real estate assets.
  • Investors to benefit from MA Financial’s significant expertise in managing and operating retail, hospitality and other alternative real estate assets.

Diversified financial services firm, MA Financial (ASX: MAF) has entered into an agreement to acquire the d’Albora marina portfolio for a headline price of $225 million from fellow diversified financial services firm, Balmain Corporation.

d’Albora is Australia’s largest marina network consisting of 10 premium marinas located across Australia’s eastern seaboard, including the iconic Rushcutters Bay, The Spit and Cabarita Point in Sydney Harbour, two marinas adjacent to the Melbourne CBD, and management rights of the Port of Airlie marina at the gateway to the Whitsundays. Collectively, the marinas can accommodate more than 2,700 vessels and are supported by a range of marine services, leisure, and tourist businesses on site.

Accompanying the acquisition, MA Financial will launch the MA Marina Fund, a closed-ended fund offering exposure to all 10 marinas, which is expected to attract significant investor interest from domestic and international markets seeking exposure to defensive, cash-generative assets largely uncorrelated to other asset classes. Balmain will participate in the Fund as a cornerstone investor with an initial interest of 30%.

The portfolio comes with the existing highly experienced corporate management team and ongoing strategic support from Balmain, ensuring continuity for customers and members.

Joint CEO of MA Financial, Julian Biggins, says the acquisition of the marina portfolio is a natural fit for the firm which already has significant investment and operational capability in retail, hospitality, and other alternative real estate assets. 

“We are excited to enter the marina sector and welcome this alternate asset investment class to our real estate portfolio.

“At MA Financial we are largely focused on the specialised and active management of alternative assets, so this unique investment and accompanying new Fund complement our existing solutions.

We see a clear investment opportunity for our clients in this asset class. Marinas have characteristics and benefits that set them apart from traditional real estate investments. They are defensive, cash generative businesses with approximately 90% of revenues relating to boat storage, property rental and boat maintenance which are of a recurring nature.”

Mr Biggins said Australia’s current marina market and the asset’s resilient earnings profile over a long period of time was also a factor in the acquisition.

“Throughout economic cycles marinas have proven resilient, and the core d’Albora portfolio delivered strong earnings during the Global Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fundamentals and outlook for Australia’s marina market is extremely positive. The number of boat registrations on the east coast continue to grow, particularly among larger boats, outpacing the supply of new marina berths which is limited by a strict regulatory environment and approval requirements as well as the lack of available and suitably located development land and seabed. It’s clear that this supply-demand dynamic will continue to drive strong revenue and earnings for marina operators.”

Mr Biggins added he was looking forward to the partnership with Balmain.

“Balmain are a highly experienced, entrepreneurial organisation and we are delighted that they have chosen to remain involved and partner with us for the next phase of d’Albora’s growth. We look forward to working with them as we expand the footprint of the portfolio and build on d’Albora being the clear leader in the industry.”


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