Aspen has bought Darwin FreeSpirit Resort as it rebuilds its accommodation platform after several years of turmoil.

Affordable accommodation provider Aspen Group has bought the Darwin FreeSpirit Resort in the Northern Territory for $19.5 million.

The purchase reflects an initial yield of around 10 per cent excluding acquisition costs.

The tourist park is on the Stuart Highway in Darwin NT. It has 430 sites, including 149 tourist cabins.

Aspen expects to settle the acquisition in the second quarter of the 2018 financial year before the Christmas trading period commences.

"FreeSpirit is one of the largest holiday parks in Australia and the best affordable accommodation offering in Darwin," said chief executive Joel Cann.

"We recognise the immediate opportunities within the asset which, under Aspen Group’s ownership, have potential to generate higher returns.

"The addition of FreeSpirit to our portfolio is consistent with our strategy of becoming an industry leader in the affordable accommodation sector in quality locations."

Steadily rebuilding

The $110 million listed player has been steadily rebuilding its accommodation platform after its several years of turmoil.

Last year, its chairman and top executives left as the company struggled to chart its course after selling off the bulk of its assets under management.

Aspen was cashed up after selling its large stake in and control of the unlisted Aspen Parks Property Fund in a $151 million deal with Discovery Holiday Parks in late 2015.

That followed a a sell-down of most of Aspen’s previous balance sheet assets, commercial properties that were encumbered with debt.

But protracted efforts to clinch a transformational deal with Mill Hill Capital fell over last year.

Now led by Mr Cann, Aspen is once again looking to scale up its platform, flagging a pipeline of potential acquisitions worth more than $90 million at its annual result in August.

It has also established an $80 million finance facility to support its objectives.

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