The much-loved Four in Hand Hotel in the Sydney suburb of Paddington has had its future secured after it was bought by the Good Beer Company (GBC) in an off-market transaction conducted by Ray White Asia Pacific Director Andrew Jolliffe.
In April, Australian Hotelier reported that Public House Management Group had put the pub up for sale and that there was a real possibility it would be bought for a residential conversion. That news sparked a local pressure group to form, which amassed 10,000 signatures to save the pub and those people have got their wish with GBC’s purchase, securing the venue’s future as a pub.
Jolliffe said that while a marketing campaign designed to sell the pub as a residential property had been started by another agent, he was always of the opinion that it should stay a hotel.
“Fundamentally, our clients are award winning second-generation hoteliers, who are entitled to seek a range of divestment opportunities for their respective investments” Jolliffe said.
“Quite clearly there are hospitality properties out there which enjoy alternative use opportunities; however, in my view some are simply either too iconic or important to the fabric of a community to make wholesale changes to, and I think this is true of the Four in Hand. Ultimately however, it’s a commercial property not a house; so, it’s applicable that the economics of market forces dictate the outcome and as such our clients initially sought alternative sale options. This is quite simply good portfolio hygiene.”
He added: “What this sale patently suggests is that hotels remain very important community focal and meeting points, and that this heritage enjoys a value beyond only monetary, and which is worthwhile protecting. I’m elated we could achieve a strong price for our clients in order to see the history of this hugely popular Sydney hospitality institution preserved.”
While a number of media outlets have speculated that the transaction was valued at around $7m, Jolliffe would not be drawn on the price, only confirming that it was “materially greater than the level speculated in recent media reports”.