Pub deals swing into action as demand rises

Pub sales are on the upward trajectory as owners, occupiers and managers vie to get a foothold into sites that also offer strong development potential.

In the past six weeks, close to $250 million of pubs have changed hands in Sydney and Brisbane and agents say they are bracing for more deals in coming months.

There is also the anticipated $10 billion float of the Endeavour empire, run by pokies and pub baron Bruce Mathieson. Endeavour is the result of the merger of ALH Group – the joint venture between Mathieson and Woolworths.

Bligh Park Tavern in Sydney’s north-west.

One of the latest pubs for offer is the Bligh Park Tavern in Sydney's north-west by the owners, the De Angelis family who operate a portfolio of venues throughout Sydney, including the Bath Arms Hotel,  Burwood, Macarthur Tavern, Campbelltown and the Green Valley Hotel in Miller. The group also recently acquired the Raby Tavern.

It has the added attraction of sitting on 14,000 square metres of land that would be available for redevelopment.

HTL Property's Dan Dragicevich, Andrew Jolliffe and Sam Handy said the site already has an adjoining fitness centre and spare land, which could be redeveloped for alternative uses.

"We find ourselves, as a property investment class collective, at the beginning of a very long and low-interest-rate environment, with the only clear way out being to identify and secure assets indexed to attractive, stable-yield profiles," Mr Jolliffe said.

In Sydney's South, HTL also sold the Captain Cook Hotel to the founder of the sport tourism group, the Fanatics, Warren Livingstone, for $17 million.

JLL's hotel director John Musca recently advised the Signature Hospitality Group in its purchase of the All Hands Brewing House on King Street Wharf in Darling Harbour for $20 million and The Elephant Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to Sydney independent pub group Tilley and Wills Hotels for a similar amount.

Other HTL Property deals in the past few weeks include Alexandria's Camelia Grove for $16 million, the purchase by former Wallaby front-rower Bill Young of Five Dock's Illinois for about $15 million, the Belmore Hotel for $50 million, the Raby Tavern for $35 million and the Allawah Hotel for $33 million.

A consortium of owners from the Corio Hotel in Goolwa have bought the Hotel Victor in Victor Harbor, South Australia. The $9.3 million sale of the freehold was brokered by JLL’s vice-president of investment sales Will Connolly.

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