The latest deals made by ASX-listed investment companies include Travelodge and US space infrastructure.

ASX investment companies such as Auctus (ASX:AVC) mostly specialise in equities but the uncertain environment in the equities market has led to investors looking for alternative assets with just as much potential but less volatility in the short term.

The change from one financial year to another and the current quarterlies season has seen several companies announce new initiatives or update the market on how their existing investments have performed.



One alternative asset to equities is real estate and one investment company with a foot in both the ASX (as a Listed Investment Company operator) and property door is Salter Brothers.

Yesterday Salter announced it was buying the Travelodge brand in Australia consisting of 11 hotels with 2032 rooms between them.

The deal was settled for $620 million and was the first deal concluded by a new joint venture between Salter, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GOIC and investment firm Partners Group.

Salter told its shareholders it would create value by giving the portfolio a shake-up including a rebrand and targeted capital expenditure. It also hinted that more deals might be on the way.

“This significant joint venture demonstrates confidence in the Australian hospitality sector and confidence in our experienced management team with proven deal sourcing capability, active hotel asset management skills and our value-add capabilities, which will all be actively deployed across this portfolio,” said Salter Brothers’ director of funds management Niall McCarthy.

“Following this acquisition we are well placed to progress towards acquiring further assets in this sector.”

While Stockhead has contacted Salter for comment, this deal comes only a few weeks after Salter listed its own Listed Investment Company (LIC) which, despite being separate to the hotels joint venture, was the first of its kind since COVID-19 first broke out.


Telehealth platforms

Telehealth is an area that has several ASX listed plays but ASX-listed tech investment company Bailador (ASX:BTI) yesterday announced it was investing in a private play.

Bailador will put $5.5 million into InstantScripts, a company offering services that include virtual consultations and prescriptions.

InstantScripts was only founded in 2018 but has already served over 300,000 Australian patients – a figure that has substantially grown thanks to COVID-19.

Bailador says it was attracted to the company by the traction it achieved in such a short space of time as well as the challenge InstantScripts sought to address, in lowering the cost and improving access to healthcare.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Asher [Freilich] and the InstantScripts team as they accelerate their growth plans and continue on their journey in building Australia’s pre-eminent digital healthcare platform,” said Bailador co-founder and managing partner Paul Wilson.


Space technology

Auctus is another example of an ASX investment company focused an alternative assets.

Auctus released its quarterly report yesterday in which it announced its assets under management rose over 230 per cent to $350 million and made cash receipts of $4.8 million.

Its investments include US college student housing and energy storage, and in recent months, a US space infrastructure as a service company – Voyager Space.

Voyager is a holding company for several space-related businesses including Nanoracks which owns an airlock on the International Space Station.

“Voyager is less focused on space travel i.e. Virgin, Space X, but more about providing services to these and more traditional space businesses,” a spokesperson for Auctus told Stockhead yesterday.

The company told shareholders Voyager Space was eyeing an S1 listing in the US in the coming months and it was looking at a standalone ASX listing for its US student housing fund in early 2022.