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SYDNEY-The Novotel Century Hotel, located in Sydney’s Darling Harbor, is being sold for A$41 million (USD$32.2M). The buyer is Rockford Hotel Group and investment partners. The seller is Mulpha Australia.The sale, scheduled to close on Dec. 13, is subject to the existing management agreement with Accor Asia Pacific. If the deal closes, the hotel will be renamed The Novotel Rockford Hotel Sydney. The 223-room hotel is located opposite the Sydney Entertainment Center and adjacent to the Sydney Conference and Exhibition Center. Features of the property include conference facilities, swimming pool and the Pumphouse Bar & Restaurant. Mulpha developed and opened the hotel in October 1999 in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics. Rockford Hotels Group is an Australian hotel owner operator with properties in Adelaide, Cairns, Melbourne and regional Victoria. The Group also has alliances with Rydges Hotels and Resorts and Flag Choice, according to the seller’s broker, Mark Durran of Jones Lang LaSalle. “It has been a very active year for hotel investment in Australia with local buyers continuing to dominate the acquisition of hotels,” says Durran. “We anticipate that this trend will continue into the new year with total sales in 2004 expected to exceed the previous highest value recorded of $1.36 billion in 1994.”In March of this year, Mulpha purchased four assets of the Principal Hotel Group, including InterContinental Sydney, Melbourne Airport Hilton, Sheraton Brisbane (subsequently sold in August), and Hayman Island, Whitsundays for approximately A$400 million (USD$314.4 million).

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