Star Asia Group Makes Strategic Investments in 2 Listed Hotel Operators

TOKYO, Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Asia Group and its affiliates ("Star Asia Group") announced today that it has made a strategic investment in two listed Japanese hotel operating companies, Greens Co. (TSE: 6547) and Washington Hotel Corp (TSE: 4691).  Star Asia Group also currently owns over 76% of Polaris Holdings Ltd (TSE: 3010) which is the owner and/or operator of 45 hotels with 8,135 rooms across Japan and the Philippines. Polaris has opportunistically grown its rooms under operation by 2.62x over the last 2 years and is looking to further grow through additional accretive hotel acquisitions as well as corporate M&A.

Strategic Overview

Star Asia Group believes that the stress and dislocation in the Japanese hospitality market caused by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic unleashed unique investment opportunities not seen since the Global Financial Crisis, nearly 15 years ago. As the Covid-19 restrictions are gradually being lifted in Japan and globally, Star Asia Group believes the Japanese hospitality sector is in the early stages of a strong turnaround and should begin to show the strongest growth metrics in the entire real estate universe.

Star Asia Group believes that Greens Co. (TSE: 6547) and Washington Hotel Corp. (TSE: 4691) have both been trading at significant discounts to their intrinsic value. Star Asia Group is now one of the largest shareholders of both companies, currently owning over 6% of Greens and over 6% of Washington Hotel. Star Asia Group believes that both companies are solid hospitality operators and will be supported by their ability to generate significant cash flow post COVID-19, as the market opening accelerates, and many more domestic and foreign guests start traveling in Japan. Star Asia Group's senior management intends to work closely with Greens and Washington Hotel to unlock the significant value intrinsic to both companies. "We have initiated constructive dialogue with both companies' management, and we are now exploring strategies to further maximize shareholder value," said Taro Masuyama, Star Asia Group Co-Founder and Managing Partner. Star Asia Group will continue actively engaging with the management of Polaris Holdings, Greens and Washington Hotel, and is prepared to provide all necessary financial and strategic resources to facilitate unlocking shareholder value for all 3 companies.

Star Asia Group has already been actively taking tactical advantage of the extensive dislocation in the hospitality space through its sponsorship of its listed hotel operating affiliate, Polaris Holdings (TSE: 3010). Together with Star Asia Group, Polaris has acquired or assumed operations of 33 hotels and over 5,830 hotel rooms since the beginning of the pandemic. Polaris now operates 45 hotels with 8,135 hotel rooms under management and is very well-positioned to capitalize on the re-opening of the Japanese hospitality market.

Star Asia Group's senior management believes that the fiercely competitive limited-service hotel space should and will likely undergo structural changes as well as consolidation. "In the fiercely competitive limited-service hotel sector, economies of scale are critically important to assure strong guest loyalty, operating efficiency, and improved financing terms. We think consolidation of smaller hotel operators is inevitable for them to maximize their shareholder value. Star Asia Group is prepared to make additional investments in both companies to facilitate a potential transaction," said Malcolm MacLean, Star Asia Group Co-Founder and Managing Partner.

About Star Asia Group

Founded by Malcolm F. MacLean IV and Taro Masuyama in 2006, Star Asia Group is an independent fund management company focused on Japanese and Asian real estate and real estate related assets. Since its founding, Star Asia Group has invested over JPY1 trillion and has current assets under management of over JPY400 billion. Star Asia Group has 371 officers and employees with over 55 professionals in finance, investment and real estate area located primarily in Japan with a few employees based in North America.

Star Asia Group's partners and employees share a long-term perspective and always operate under our Guiding Principles which continuously drive the group to become and remain one of the leading real estate investment management firms in Japan and Asia.  Star Asia Group's strong track record and long-term partnership approach with our investors have been integral in attracting significant capital from sophisticated global investors, including large American university endowments and foundations, Japanese and European pension funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds, U.S. and Asia based family offices as well as other global real estate investors. Star Asia Group is committed to its disciplined Investment Philosophy with a single goal of meeting and exceeding our client's expectations for the mandates we are given. 

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CONTACT: Yohei Taguchi,