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Melbourne Star Observation Wheel Bought By Swiss Company, Robu Group – Professional Developments

February 4, 2021 Business News No Comments

Swiss-based global observation wheel design and management experts, Robu Group, has purchased Melbourne Star Observation Wheel with the new ownership effective from February 1st, 2021.

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel management said the attraction will continue operating as usual, welcoming thousands of visitors a week, with the new Master Plan expected to bring exciting new visitor activities and experiences both in and around the Giant Observation Wheel, in the near future.

Robu’s CEO Ronald A. Bussink is well known for his contributions to the creation and management of Giant Observation Wheels around the world. Bussink has been the lead designer on more than 100 observation wheels globally.

On the acquisition, Mr Bussink said: “Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is an iconic attraction for the City of Melbourne, and since before its official opening I was already very keen to add this Giant Observation Wheel to our portfolio and to create a world-class visitor experience in line with our global expertise in city-shaping attractions.”

“Melbourne Star has proved to be a very reliable and safe structure over the last seven years. We saw the Melbourne Star as a unique investment opportunity, which forms part of our strategic focus on standalone tourism attractions.”

“We are very positive and confident about the future and our new Master Plan will optimise operations and bring exciting new visitor activities and experiences.”

“Lastly, we will definitely strengthen the corporate and social responsibility of Melbourne Star and include it into our Turn for Good program to make the world a better place!”

The Robu Group has a track record of successful tourism investments and the safe operation of those assets for over 20 years, including The Cape Wheel in South Africa, Channel Seven Wheel of Brisbane, Skyviews Miami and Skyviews New Jersey in the United States of America (New Jersey to be installed in April this year).

The Robu Group takes over ownership from Sanoyas Rides Australia (part of Sanoyas Rides Corporation, Osaka, Japan), which has successfully operated the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel since leading its redesign and relaunch in December 2013.

Sanoyas said it was proactively approached by the Robu Group to purchase the attraction and negotiated the confidential terms of the sale in good faith.

Sanoyas Rides Australia Managing Director, Yoshio Nagamatsu said: “We’re proud of the safe and successful operation of Melbourne Star over the last seven years, and significant tourism and economic contribution made to the City of Melbourne and State of Victoria.”

“We believe the Robu Group is the right organisation to lead the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel into future growth, and we look forward to seeing their vision for the world-class attraction materialise.”

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Head of  Operations and Finance Daniel Greenbank said: “After 231 days of COVID-induced closure in 2020, Melbourne Star has slowly bounced back with an average of almost 90% of our pre-pandemic visitation numbers from Victorians.”

“We’ve really gone from strength to strength since reopening in December 2013, we expect to welcome our 2 millionth guest in the coming weeks and are looking forward to many more in the exciting years to come.”

Over the last seven years, Melbourne Star has invested almost $60 million total expenditure back into the Victorian economy with the attraction supporting around 50 jobs.

The commercial details of the transaction remain confidential and will not be disclosed.

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