Lantern’s divestment and turnaround marches on, with Sydney-based hotelier Andrew Lazarus snapping up the Beaumont Exchange for a tidy sum.
Located in one of the best regions of NSW’s second-largest city, Newcastle, the Exchange is a diverse business with significant opportunities for upside.
“It represents great value,” Lazarus told PubTIC of the $6.625 million sale price.
“I had no real interest in a hotel in Newcastle, but I looked at the opportunity and within a couple of days went up, had a look, and put in a bid.”
Lazarus currently operates prominent Sydney pubs The Eastern in Bondi and top gamer the Macquarie Hotel in Liverpool, and is the face of new pub fund, Bondi Asset Management (BAM). BAM kicked off at the beginning of the year with the acquisition of Lazarus’ Vauxhall Hotel.
Although the Exchange is firstly Lazarus’ own acquisition, he reports either it or his other purchase from Lantern, the El Toro in Warwick Farm, may become the next asset in the BAM portfolio.
The Hamilton hotel represents a market “a bit unfamiliar” to the Sydney hotelier, but he reports he is excited to make the expansion and has begun determining what the community want from the pub.
“I was pleasantly surprised how progressive hotels in Hamilton and Newcastle are, and it became evident the Beaumont had fallen behind … it had not had a refurb for 10 years,” says Lazarus.
“I certainly plan to refurbish and relaunch it, after we’ve done a bit more research on the target market. It’s super important to know your local community.
“The current management are going to stay, and I have given them a brief to re-engage with the local community, to provide the product they are after.”
Already in mind beyond redecorating is another instalment of the successful GoodTime Burgers concept in The Eastern. The on-trend burger offering is currently open as a pop-up at El Toro, with plans to begin there permanently in four weeks.
The Exchange sale campaign was managed by CBRE Hotels’ Daniel Dragicevich and Ben McDonald, who report interest from local and Sydney hoteliers and suggest the Bondi pub baron will suit the entertainment destination.
“Mr Lazarus is a great fit for the Exchange, and we expect – with his experience and expertise – for the Hotel to continue to be the local favourite it’s always been,” said Dragicevich.
The ASX-listed Lantern Hotel Group (ASX: LTN) report that the sale price reflects a seven per cent premium on the book value recorded 31 December, 2015.