Pub baron Mazen Tabat has continued his quest to become Colonial Leisure Group’s landlord, buying the Portsea Hotel freehold for $17.1 million.

The Herald Sun reported the sale yesterday, which transacted in the first half of 2015 and settled in November. The hotel adds to Tabat’s portfolio of CLG pubs, and the sharp yield bricks and mortar sale of the Portsea is rumoured to have come with a clause to give Tabat first right of purchase on almost any other CLG property that comes on the market.

Tabat’s new vehicle, Portsea Retail Fund (PRF), is gearing up to be a repeat of his success as one of the three owners of Aussie Leisure Group (ALG).

ALG built pub fortunes before and after the GFC years, predominantly with a business model of buying freehold going concerns and selling the leases to Australian Leisure & Hospitality (ALH), such as Magnum’s Airlie Beach. It sold that freehold around a year ago to HPI, still tenanted by ALH.

Tabat already owns properties leased to Chris Morris’ CLG, and the conditional sale sets the scene for PRF to be a continuation of the landlord-style business.

CLG will remain as operators at the Portsea, which is situated in an idyllic coastal retreat about an hour out of Melbourne. Morris’ Group purchased the Hotel in 1999 for around $9 million.

The former Computershare entrepreneur still holds around 25 hotel properties, in both Australia and Britain.

The historic 1876 Portsea Hotel recently underwent some essential structural renovations, after dredging of Port Phillip Bay undermined its cliff-side location. The generous ocean-side property is believed to be worth more than the purchase price in property value alone, with luxury holiday homes in the area regularly fetching $30+ million.

As well as being landlord to CLG, Tabat owns pubs in Australia and overseas, still including a number of properties leased to ALH, such as popular Melbourne gaming pub, Skyways.

Portsea Hotel
Portsea Hotel
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