In Property by Clyde Mooney

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Redcape has continued its portfolio reshuffle, selling the big Belrose Hotel back to the Bayfields.

A classic suburban pub in the heartland of the northern beaches peninsula, the Belrose Hotel has seen generations of locals passing time on its generous grounds, with the demographic gradually shifting toward the upwardly mobile and higher socio-economic population seen today.

The Bayfield family are institutions of the so-called ‘insular peninsula’, having dominated the area for many years with owner-operations at the Newport Arms, Belrose and Dee Why Hotels, and the highly successful Bayfields-branded liquor outlets.

Before accepting a big-ticket price for The Newport from Merivale in early 2015, the family had divested the Belrose to Redcape in 2012, for around $23 million.

The Group continued the family’s legacy of working with the locals, as recognised in both NSW and National AHA Awards for Excellence in 2015 and 2016, granted the prize for Outstanding Community Service and Achievement.

Since the wholesale acquisition of Redcape by Moelis mid-2017, the Group has been executing a strategic shake-up of its properties, ahead of an anticipated $1bn IPO rumoured to be as soon as the end of this year.

The plans included $100m in new acquisitions by the end of 2017, parting with selected assets, including the Doonside Hotel, and in the past month another $120m in purchases, with the Ryan family’s ‘Rising’ Sun Hotel for $20m, BAM’s Vauxhall Hotel for $40m, then Momento’s Australian Hotel & Brewery for $50m.

Looking to free capital for further acquisitions, the Group has sold Belrose back to its former owners for a price reported in The Australian today as “about $23 million”.

“The sale of the Belrose Hotel represents a strategic divestment for Redcape as we continue to optimise our portfolio of strategically placed operating businesses underpinned by real estate holdings,” said Redcape CEO Dan Brady.

After Newport the Bayfields went on later that year to buy Dean Haritos’ Light Brigade, in the pub-happy precinct of Paddington. But while this is “performing well” and head office is still in home base Dee Why, they yearned for another big operation, preferably back from whence they came.

Enjoying a very large block, with multiple alfresco areas and generous internal areas, the pub holds continued opportunity in the region, but for now the Bayfields report it will be business as usual.

“We are excited to be back at the Belrose Hotel,” says patriarch Wayne Bayfield.

“The Northern Beaches is our home and we have been keeping an eye out for any opportunities. To find this opportunity in a pub that we have previously owned and know so well is very exciting.

“We can’t wait to get back in there and re-acquaint ourselves!”

The off-market deal was brokered by newly-formed specialist brokerage HTL Property, also managing sale of the Clovelly for Solotel, led by Andrew Jolliffe, who managed the sale of the Belrose for the family six years’ ago.

“We were approached by the Bayfield Group to sound out Redcape in relation to one of its assets, and following negotiation, are pleased to announce the sale of one of suburban Sydney’s best known large-format hotels,” said Jolliffe.