AVC and the Laundy family add new locations

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It was a big week of pub property deals with Australian Venue Co, Laundy Hotels, Ark Group and the new Lancer Group among the buyers.

Australian Venue Co. (AVC) has announced that it will soon operate the seaside pub, Apollo Bay Hotel, located in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

AVC said this was its first acquisition of Great Ocean Road and the group had reached an exclusivity agreement with the freehold acquirer, with settlement expected in the coming months.

The historic beachfront venue features a family bistro, alfresco dining on a large veranda, guest accommodation and a reception hall, and has been sold by its owners for the past 30 years, Stephen and Christine McMahon.

AVC CEO Paul Waterson said the acquisition was an exciting addition to the group’s strong Victorian portfolio.

“Apollo Bay is an iconic Victorian destination and the Apollo Bay Hotel is a local historic landmark. We are very excited to be part of the next chapter of the pub and to work with the team.

“We have a strong track record of operating pubs in regional areas and popular vacation destinations and look forward to joining the Apollo Bay community.”

JLL Hotels Vice President Will Connolly, who managed the sale of the Apollo Bay Hotel, said the national appetite for coastal pubs continues with the hotly contested sales campaign attracting more than 150 enquiries.

“The level of inquiry and buyer engagement is certainly a testament to the reverence held at the Apollo Bay Hotel,” Connolly said.

“We received five incredible offers at the culmination of our EOI campaign and with just the right level of competitive tension we were able to produce an acceptable result for our delighted suppliers at a level significantly above our initial price guide of 10.5 millions of dollars and more.”

Connolly says JLL is currently managing the sale of another Great Ocean pub, the Wye Beach Hotel in the seaside town of Wye River between Apollo Bay and Lorne.

New Albury Hotel, Albury

New Albury Hotel

A hotel run by AVC, the New Albury Hotel in Albury, New South Wales has also changed hands with full ownership purchased by a well-known local hotelier.

The hotel was in receivership due to a family legal dispute, with Soden’s Australian Hotel, also in Albury, sold under the same circumstances in May last year.

The heritage-listed New Albury Hotel sold for $13.2 million in a hotly contested auction where individual bids rose by $900,000, according to Manenti Quinlan & Associates and DJ May Real Estate , who have been appointed by Receiver FerrierSilvia to handle the freehold sale.

Following an opening bid of $8 million, six parties competed for the premium asset, with a well-known local hotelier becoming the eventual buyer, said Leonard Bongiovanni of Manenti Quinlan.

“There has been strong interest from a wide range of potential buyers throughout the sales campaign. We have responded to requests from institutional and private investors and several experienced hoteliers, all attracted by the quality of the asset and the prospect of partnering with a long-standing blue-chip tenant in the Australian Venue Co,” did he declare.

“The result was well above expectations,” said broker and auctioneer Doug May of DJ May Real Estate. “We have passed the reserve and carried on, showing that there is still an exceptionally strong market for regional hotel investments, particularly those with a Class A tenant in place.”

Paddington Beer House, Perth

Paddington Beer House

Ark Hospitalithy Group have announced the recent purchase of The Paddington Ale House in Mount Hawthorn, Perth.

A community landmark, The Paddo is a historic 1930s pub, and the sale marks the first time the site has changed hands in four decades.

The family group has restored another WA historic site, The Bassendean Hotel, which is set to reopen later this year.

The sale was brokered by CBRE’s Ryan McGinnity, and settlement is expected to take place in mid-April. The Paddo will continue to trade as normal with a revitalization of the site to be planned later in the year.

“The Paddo is Mount Hawthorn’s cornerstone hotel and we are proud to take on the role of guardian of a pub with such a rich history dating back to the 1930s,” said Ark Group Managing Director Adam Kapinkoff.

“Mount Hawthorn is a vibrant place, with an impressive range of restaurants, cafes and retail outlets – we look forward to playing a part in this community and providing them with a local that everyone can enjoy.”

Search for Mercure Central Hotel

Mercure Central Hotel

Laundy Hotels, meanwhile, has acquired the Mercure Centro Hotel – a 72-room, 4.5-star business hotel in the NSW coastal town and tourist destination of Port Macquarie.

Long-term owner HLF has sold the freehold business in an off-market deal handled by HTL Property, with Laundy Hotels teaming up with local hotel operator Alistair Flower on the new site.

“While not housed in the same equity structure as our other beachfront accommodation assets in Noosa, Manly and Terrigal, this coastal property fits perfectly with our national investment objectives and adds skillfully to the growing portfolio,” said Stu Laundy.

Orana Hotel, Newcastle

The Orana Hotel

In another recent Laundy family coastal acquisition, Arthur Laundy’s daughter Danielle Richardson and her husband Shane bought the Orana Hotel near Newcastle in New South Wales for $13 million.

The Orana Hotel occupies approximately 3000m² on a very exposed corner site between the popular suburbs of Swansea and Belmont.

“Danielle and I are very happy to have found this little gem, and we love how the current owners have transformed this pub into a great family run hotel,” said Shane Richardson.

“We plan to continue to build on this proposition and develop it into a great social hub for the blacksmith community and the wider Swansea Belmont area.”

JLL, which handled the sale, said the Orana Hotel is the fifth hotel between Sydney and Newcastle to be sold by the company in as many months.

Search Criterion Hotel

The Criterion Hotel

A Sydney-based syndicate, meanwhile, made a regional acquisition in the NSW Riverina town of Gundagai.

The incoming operator is the new Lancer Group, led by Tim Fallon, freehold owner of the Buena Vista Hotel in Mosman. Lancer has also invested in the booming nearby town of Tumut, with the purchase of the Royal Hotel last year.

Fallon said: “We are delighted to include the Criterion in our portfolio and look forward to continuing the great work of David and Jedda in providing residents and visitors to Gundagai with a cohesive and vibrant community venue.”

The Criterion Hotel in Gundagai has been sold for around $6 million by publican David Hindmarsh, who is leaving the hotel after 20 years, with JLL Property managing the process.

“The pub has been a wonderful experience from the start, but now is the time to let it go now and allow someone else to carry it forward into the next 20 years,” Hindmarsh said.

JLL vice president Kate MacDonald and executive Greg Jeloudev said they managed to achieve a sale price that was $1 million above the seller’s expectations.

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