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Inside the marketing campaign to sell a childhood icon

By Juliet Helmke
04 July 2024 | 12 minute read
luna park sydney reb kcnnri

“Tightly held and rarely traded”, amusement parks don’t come to market often. When they do, crafting the campaign to find a new owner requires a strategic approach.

A beloved Sydney landmark that has been the setting of countless childhood memories has hit the market, with heritage-listed harbourside attraction Luna Park up for sale by property giant Brookfield.

CBRE is handling the campaign on Brookfield’s behalf, with the firm reportedly hoping to broker a price for the leasehold in the neighbourhood of $70 million.

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CBRE’s Simon Rooney, James Douglas and Paul Ryan are steering the campaign, with the team determined to find the right buyer with the spirit and expertise to take on this iconic business.

As Rooney commented: “Luna Park is more than just an amusement park. It is the beating heart of Sydney.”

So how do you sell something so important to thousands, if not millions, of people? And what does the buyer pool look like? According to Rooney, it’s not as narrow as some might initially think.

The commercial expert said there are “so many options”, not least of all Australian theme and amusement park operators to international park operators.

“The right fit would be someone who is passionate about this iconic asset and wants to invest further to realise its full potential,” he said.

And while they’ll need to honour its heritage-listed status, Rooney noted that there certainly is room to grow the business beyond its current profile.

“The existing floorspace provides opportunities to further enhance the profile of the precinct and drive income growth through additional amusement and immersive experiences or F&B initiatives. This follows a recent major investment in redeveloping the park’s Big Top as a 3,000-square-metre multipurpose venue, catering to growing global demand for captivating and all-in experiences,” Rooney commented.

John Hughes, CEO of Luna Park Sydney, noted that the major investment involved a $40 million upgrade over the last four years that also added new rides and immersive experiences.

Now with 17 amusement rides and 7,000 square metres of building floorspace, Hughes said the venue is seeing record attendance figures, while the management team continues to “pursue a strong pipeline of new opportunities that will further add value to the business”.

While it may not be the asset that everyone is in the market for, as Rooney described, there’s a lot going for this “unique opportunity” to secure a business in a globally recognised Sydney landmark underpinned by “outstanding investment fundamentals and a strong brand”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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