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MA Financial bolsters Marina Fund as demand for alternative real estate assets continues to rise

Global alternative asset manager, MA Financial (ASX: MAF) has entered into an agreement to purchase Batemans Bay Marina and Port Macquarie Marina for $20 million from James Marshall, Founder and Managing Director of Marprop, Real Estate Investors.

The two east coast marinas will complement the firm’s existing portfolio of 10 d’Albora marinas in the MA Marina Fund, established by MA Financial in April this year.

The close-ended fund offers exposure to Australia’s largest marina network across the eastern seaboard and includes the iconic Rushcutters Bay, The Spit and Cabarita Point in Sydney Harbour, and two marinas adjacent to the Melbourne CBD.

Joint CEO of MA Financial, Julian Biggins, says the acquisition of the two additional marinas is aligned with the firm’s strategy, driven by increasing investor demand for alternative real estate assets.

“We’re delighted with the purchase of the two new marinas. We have received significant interest in the MA Marina Fund from domestic and international investors keen for exposure to defensive, cash-generative assets largely uncorrelated to other asset classes. These two new facilities will help enhance the Fund’s offering.

The fundamentals and outlook for Australia’s marina market is extremely positive. Boat registration numbers on the east coast continue to rise, outpacing the supply of new marina berths which are limited by a strict regulatory environment and the lack of available and suitably located development land and seabed. We expect the supply-demand dynamic will continue to drive strong revenue and earnings for marina operators,” Mr Biggins said.

MA Financial Group is largely focused on the active management of alternative assets and has significant investment and operational capability in retail, hospitality, and other alternative real estate assets. The firm expects continued growth in alternatives as investor interests shift beyond traditional real estate sectors.

“Globally we are seeing substantial growth in institutional allocation to alternative investments, which is estimated to almost double over five years and grow to $23 trillion by 2026.”

Mr Marshall said the successful sale underpins the appeal of well-located marinas in Australia. “Port Macquarie and Batemans Bay are among the fastest growing areas in New South Wales which contribute to their appeal and value.

We are confident these popular assets will thrive under the capable and experienced management of MA Financial, ensuring operational continuity for customers and members and successful outcomes for their investors,” Mr Marshall concluded.

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