By Andrew Starke

The ALE Property Group (ALE) has reported a slight fall in the value of its pubs following a property portfolio revaluation.

The value of ALE’s 100 freehold properties was placed at to $804.77 million, down $300,000 from an $805.07 million valuation made in December last year.

The optimistic assessment came as a surprise to an industry still digesting the news that Tom Hedley’s pub empire is on the verge of collapse, with administrators set to decide its future later this year.

ALE’ valuation took into account the recent auction of five of its properties, which sold to individual private investors for $27.8 million – a 10.5 per cent premium to December 31 2008 book values.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) the group said: “independent valuation assessment was made after considering sales evidence of other comparable properties leased to high quality tenants on long-term leases; and significant evidence of high levels of demand from individual private investors for smaller, value, high-quality, commercial properties.”

With the sale of its five properties, ALE will hold $55 million in surplus cash that could be applied to repay all the funding and hedging facilities that contain loan to value covenants.

Newly recruited evaluator Urbis independently valued 33 of ALE’s properties, with the remainder subject to ‘desktop assessments’.

ALE is 75 per cent owned Woolworths and 25 per cent by pokies billionaire Bruce Mathieson.

ALE’s share price was $2.30 at 11am today (Jul 17), up from $2.29 seven days ago.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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