Byron Bay family the Mooneys have divested the Great Northern Hotel and adjacent 51-room Lateen Lane Hotel after almost 30 years of ownership for roughly $80 million.
Having fielded numerous unsolicited enquiries about divesting the properties for a number of years, the Mooneys decided the time was right to sell the assets. JLL Hotels & Hospitality’s John Musca and Ben McDonald partnered with JLL’s hotel investments professional Andrew Langsford to sell the two hotels via an invitation-only off-market campaign.
The Great Northern Hotel occupies a 2,000sqm corner position on Byron Bay’s prime Jonson Street main retail thoroughfare, and boasts a large band room, 20 first-floor accommodation rooms, a restaurant, bars and drive-through bottle shop. The neighbouring Lateen Lane Hotel with its 51 accommodation rooms was developed by the Mooneys in 2009.
The Great Northern Hotel has been sold to Melbourne-based duo Scott Didier, founder and CEO of ASX listed Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG); and Scott Emery, founder of online lender MoneyMe (ASX:MME). Didier’s family have solely acquired the Lateen Lane Hotel, with his daughter Casey – a Byron Bay local – set to run the day-to-day operations of the accommodation hotel.
Didier and Emery have had business operations in Byron Bay for over 30 years, including the nearby Beach Suites, set on the waterfront of Main Beach.
“Scott and I are just so delighted to be the new custodians of the Northern and to have the privileged opportunity to engage with the local community in the next incarnation of this very special pub, in such a special place, and my family are so excited about the Lateen Lane Hotel and what we can create there,” stated Didier.
The sale campaign garnered a dozen qualified bids, ranging from family groups to highly respected publicans from across the country.
“Anyone who knows how captivating Byron Bay is and, understands the challenging hotel licensing and approvals environment, will appreciate that the Northern is a truly irreplaceable business and real estate asset, driving the competition that has delivered its generational sale,” stated Musca.
While a major acquisition in its own right, McDonald expects that the duo of Didier and Emery have grand plans for the next iteration of The Great Northern Hotel.
“Whilst this sale represents the biggest pub transaction of 2021, we believe that the Byron Bay story has a long way to run with the new owners set to take a measured view on improving the exiting offering for the benefit of local residents and the circa four million visitors set to enjoy the pristine location each year.”
Byron Bay pub hotel assets have been hot property over the last 18 months, with sales including the Beach Hotel to Moelis Australia, the Sun Hotel to the Winchester Group, The Sydney Collective acquiring Lennox Hotel and Illawong Hotel, and Merivale purchasing Cheeky Monkey’s Restaurant & Bar.