$50M ACQUISITIONS FOR “QUIET” NEW PUB GROUP
By Clyde Mooney, PubTIC.
News is emerging of a new pub group with deep pockets, amid the announcement the Waugh family has sold the Banksia Hotel and the Belmore Hotel in Sydney.
Quietly entering the industry with the recent purchase of the top-100 gaming pub the Belmore Hotel, the Singapore-based fund behind the money has backed up the play with the acquisition of Rockdale’s Banksia Hotel for a combined total of close to $50 million.
Both pubs came from the stables of the Waugh Hotel Group, as Mitchell Waugh’s new vehicle Public House Management Group makes a game-changing shift to city and eastern suburbs food & bev operations – taking the deeds to no less than three Paddington pubs in recent months, for a total outlay approaching $60 million.
The Belmore is located in western Sydney gaming heartland, and currently listed as OLGR’s #60. Its sale for around $34 million represents the latest in a bonanza of gaming venues that have transacted this year in a climate paying top dollar for their proven consistency.
Located in Sydney’s booming south-west corridor, the Banksia is more modestly ranked (#271) and enjoys strong trade through its bars, restaurant and accommodation on a 1,000+ m² mixed-use site with double street frontage.
But importantly for the new operators it is located opposite Banksia train station and the Feros Group’s stronger-performing Rocksia Hotel..
The Australian Financial Review previously suggested the new group has been set up specifically to acquire “hospitality properties along Australia’s eastern seaboard” – likely with a gaming focus.
DIXON TOPS OFF MELBOURNE PUB “WITH A TWIST”
By Clyde Mooney, PubTIC
Dixon Hospitality has executed the first expansion of its newly acquired Open Door Pub Co portfolio, with a lavish new rooftop bar now crowning Melbourne’s Imperial Hotel. One of 2015’s most acquisitive pub groups, Michael Dixon and father Bruce Dixon – former Spotlight CEO – purchased all 17 pubs and head office operations of the successful Open Door Pub Co in September.
One of the most prized in the leasehold portfolio is the 1858-built Imperial Hotel, located opposite Parliament House in inner-city Melbourne. Undergoing a facelift “just in time for summer festivities” the Imperial now boasts an impressive rooftop beer garden for up to 270 patrons, with 360-degree views of the city.
The Hotel also has a new menu by group executive chef Justin Wise, featuring “pub-style treats with a twist” and the 20+ draught taps behind the rooftop bar will offer a mix of local and international beers and ciders.
The significant rooftop build involved a crane to lift a converted shipping container onto the second storey, and installation of a dedicated kitchen.
Open every day “midday-late” the space is already being billed as the “perfect vantage point to watch the fireworks” and the Dixon group has chosen to make the entire rooftop area non-smoking.
The freehold of the hotel, Melbourne’s third-oldest, smashed price expectations in May when it sold to a local family for $11.45 million.