$50m ACQUISITIONS FOR QUIET NEW PUB GROUP

In Property by Clyde Mooney

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News is emerging of a new pub group with deep pockets, amid the announcement the Waugh family has sold the Banksia Hotel and the Belmore Hotel.

Image: website

Image: website

Quietly entering the industry with the recent purchase of top-100 gaming pub the Belmore Hotel, the Singapore-based fund behind the money has backed up the play with the acquisition of Rockdale’s Banksia Hotel for a combined total of close to $50 million.

Both pubs came from the stables of the Waugh Hotel Group, as Mitchell Waugh’s new vehicle Public House Management Group makes a game-changing shift to city and eastern suburbs food & bev operations – taking the deeds to no less than three Paddington pubs in recent months, for a total outlay approaching $60 million.

Both off-market transactions were conducted through Ray White’s Asia-Pacific director, Andrew Jolliffe, who would not elaborate but told PubTIC the company encourages investment houses to employ them to conduct enquiries and “discrete transactions” – sometimes to protect against pre-conceived notions by either party.

“We spend a lot of time and financial resources managing relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, and this transaction is symptomatic of both this commitment, as well as the depth and complexion of the appetite for A-grade Australian leisure-class properties,” said Jolliffe.

The Belmore is located in western Sydney gaming heartland, and currently listed as OLGR’s #60. Its sale for around $34 million represents the latest in a bonanza of gaming venues that have transacted this year in a climate paying top dollar for their proven consistency.

Located in Sydney’s booming south-west corridor, the Banksia is more modestly ranked (#271) and enjoys strong trade through its bars, restaurant and accommodation on a 1,000+ m² mixed-use site with double street frontage.

But importantly for the new operators it is located opposite Banksia train station and the Feros Group’s stronger-performing Rocksia Hotel.

Brokering these two sales to the as yet unannounced new group, as well as seeing the Waughs invest proceeds into top-of-the-market acquisitions of the Woollahra Hotel, the Royal Hotel and the Four in Hand, Jolliffe suggests the agency’s attention to market vectors – such as Aristocrat’s quarterly announcements and demographic commodity prices – has proven successful for them this year.

The Australian Financial Review previously suggested the new group has been set up specifically to acquire “hospitality properties along Australia’s eastern seaboard” – likely with a gaming focus. Unable to comment, Jolliffe suggests this model is consistently attractive to the investment class.

“Gaming-based businesses in NSW, and other Australian states and territories, are robust, reliable revenue streams; and probably as importantly, they are scalable business units,” Mr Jolliffe said.

Banksia Hotel

Banksia Hotel