By Clyde Mooney

The ANZ bank has called in the receivers on four successful Sydney hotels after a protracted struggle with post-GFC valuations.  

On Tuesday receivers PPB Advisory arrived at the offices and venues of the veteran operators J&J O'Brien to "prepare the venues for a going concern sale". 

J&J O'Brien (JJOs) owner Chris Crawley told TheShout the situation was "pretty regrettable", refuting the receivers' statement that their four venues needed to be brought "under control from an operational perspective".  

"The problem is to do with loan-to-value ratios (LVRs)," said Crawley.

"The market has dropped, values have halved, and the banks do not appreciate it when their securities are below the loan value. 

"The provision ought to be removed if the business is solid, which they are."

Crawley reports all of their venues are performing well and operating at their maximum, and that there is "no business to resuscitate". 

JJOs was in discussion with developers over the future of its long-standing Jacksons on George venue, which is reputedly worth double the current value as part of a (APDG) development of the Alfred/Pitt/Darley/George block fronting bustling Circular Quay.  

"[Jacksons] incorporates valuable air space and we have been talking to Lend Lease… the negotiations were far from done," Crawley said. 

JJOs operated a number of venues that made them iconic in Sydney's hospitality landscape, including the Belvedere Hotel in the CBD and Cohibar and The Watershed in Darling Harbour.

The Jacksons on George establishment (pictured above) , which recently hit the headlines due to the accidental death of an intoxicated man on his bucks night, had proved a stalwart of The Rocks and Quay area for decades. 

"We were terribly saddened by what happened – the death by misadventure of a young man. I feel really sad for his family," Crawley said.  

The venues will continue trading as per normal pending future announcements by PPB Advisory. 

The Shout Team

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *