John Singleton and business partners sell Manly’s Hotel Steyne to Iris Capital for $60m-plus

Specialist pub sales agents Andrew Jolliffe and Dan Dragicevich of HTL Property have confirmed the sale of the iconic Hotel Steyne in Sydney’s Manly.

Hotel Steyne was purchased back in 2010 by the current owners, a group of investors including hotelier Arthur Laundy, businessman John Singleton and investors Mark Carnegie and Robert Whyte. The group put the Hotel Steyne up for sale in February when they were looking to exit from their one-off investment at a time of buoyant sales.

The group have sold to Iris Capital for a “record price” according to a spokesperson for HTL Property, who was unable to disclose the price paid. However several sources have suggested to Australian Hotelier a price of around $62.5m would be likely and represent a record.

“We are delighted to have acquired what is, on any fair test, Australia’s leading hotel property in the form of Manly’s iconic Hotel Steyne,” said Iris Capital founder Sam Arnaout.

It is believed the Singleton group paid around $27m for the 160-year-old hotel back in 2010, when they purchased it from Bruce McHugh.

The Hotel Steyne sale takes place just weeks after John Singleton bought the Elanora Hotel in East Gosford for around $25m.

The landmark and multi-level waterfront Hotel Steyne, spread across approximately 2,000sqm, was brought to market by high profile vendors John Singleton, Robert Whyte, Arthur Laundy and Mark Carnegie.

“This positions our company, Iris Capital, as a genuine hospitality leader in this part of the world, and complements our macro coastal investment strategy in respect of similar landmark projects such as Newcastle’s $700m East End development,” said Arnaout.

Iris Capital’s pubs portfolio already totals around 20 venues, including the Gaslight Inn, Darlinghurst, Empire Hotel, King’s Cross and the Grand Hotel, Bondi Junction.

“We were tasked to run an international sale process for a very important piece of Australia’s hospitality history, and the prosperous outcome of the on-market program reflects the level of interest garnered and generational value so inherent in this prestigious asset,” said HTL Property Managing Director Andrew Jolliffe.

“Multiple local, interstate and international investors vigorously challenged for the right to acquire this most unique of hospitality assets,” said Jolliffe, “and the winning bidder identified with the once in a lifetime opportunity to create asset class price history.”

“Dealing with such wonderful businessmen like Arthur Laundy is always a thrill,” said Arnaout, “and our young company now looks forward to taking the baton from him and furthering the vision he and his hugely successful partners originally envisaged at this irreplaceable property.”

“When considering the sale of the Hotel Steyne in the context of our recent key transactions concluded in multiple states nationally this year, it remains our considered view that market strength and depth are not only positive, but also currently serve to embolden an already robust asset class,” said HTL Property National Director Dan Dragicevich.

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