Pub sales grow as confidence up

THE Banksia Hotel is on the market, with the selling agent citing its prime position as a popular drawcard for investors.The hotel, on the corner of Princes Highway and Banksia Avenue, was built in the 1940s and revamped in 2007, with the present owners remodelling the facade, stripping the ground floor and refurbishing the interiors.

Agent Andrew Jolliffe from Ray White Hotels said the owners were selling to consolidate their assets.

“Its unique nature and excellent presentation has made it eagerly sought after,” Mr Jolliffe said.

He said Ray White Hotels had sold more than 40 establishments in the past year, including the Bayfields family owned Caringbah Hotel to the Woolworths joint-venture Australian Leisure and Hospitality group for an estimated $45 million.

Mr Jolliffe said the sale highlighted the return of confidence and investor sentiment to the hotel industry.

“It is the largest commercial property transaction of any asset class in 2012 and underlines the return of investor confidence and liquidity in debt markets,” he said. “Whilst the pub sector has been under pressure due to the uncertainty about poker machine regulations, there has been substantial off-market activity over the past six months, transacting, on average, almost one pub asset a week.”


A DEAL by Woolworths to add 31 hotels, including Caringbah Hotel, and one bottle shop through its subsiduary Australian Leisure and Hospitality (ALH) group in December for an estimated $500 million, is still on hold.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is examining if the transaction would lessen competition among players within the market. A decision is expected on April 5.

Coles has been seeking a possible joint-venture deal to expand on its pub portfolio. The supermarket chain is selling three of its 95 hotels. ‘‘Coles has a very strong pub portfolio, but it has lacked some operating expertise,’’ said Paddy Coughlin, chief executive of the Riversdale Group. ‘‘So it’s a smart move for the group to look for a joint-venture partner to provide that expertise.’’