LAUNDY DOUBTFUL OF REDCAPE PURCHASE

In Finance by Clyde Mooney

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Pub giant and active transactor Arthur Laundy has quashed rumours he is close to buying the $700 million Redcape portfolio.

As the Australian pub industry waits with bated breath the fate of the New York hedge-fund-owned collection of big-performance gaming hotels, The Australian reported Laundy and Theo Karedis “wading” into the race.

PubTIC spoke to the pragmatic septuagenarian on what would be the biggest investment of his high-flying portfolio.

“I don’t think anything will come of it,” said Laundy.

“The paper phoned and I told them I could be interested … we’re looking, but I’ve got enough on my plate, with the pub-brewery and other projects.”

Laundy and Karedis – of Theo’s Liquor fame – already own several hotels together, including the Manly Pacific, the Sofitel in Noosa, and most recently the $60m purchase of the Crowne Plaza Terrigal.

Recent suitors to Redcape’s high-performing suite of 26 pubs and retail assets have included some serious buying power. Moelis-Meers has appeared to be the main contender, although negotiations stalled earlier this year. Charter Hall looked set to team up with superannuation company HostPlus and Australia’s biggest publican, ALH, to take on the pubs.

Once owner and New York finance giant Goldman Sachs was recently engaged to find an appropriate buyer and exit for its brethren Värde Partners and York Capital Management, which remain holding the keys since Goldman Sachs found its own way out.

The only certainty with regards to the sale of the Redcape portfolio is that the owners will continue to weigh all options until the investment goals are achieved.