By Clyde Mooney
Completion of the sale of 28 venues to ALH, mostly from the Laundy Hotel Group (LHG) portfolio, was announced this week and included the Harlequin in Pyrmont.
LHG was quick to spend some of the proceeds, yesterday paying $3.5 million at auction for the Quarryman’s, also on Harris Street. Director, Stu Laundy, spoke to TheShout.
"Dad has been a publican for over 50 years and will continue doing so.
"[The] bottom line is the Quarryman’s was one of those situations whereby we made a ridiculous offer and got the pub.
"We have a very solid relationship with ALH and this particular pub would not be the right fit for them at this stage.
"Ongoing, our business model will be to buy pubs with a view to either keeping them under Laundy management or build the business and let the leasehold go into the ALH model.
"We may look to buy pubs directly in conjunction with ALH.
"It's been about diversification – both our family business model and the risks associated with the industry in general.
"ALH are the consummate publicans… yes, Woolworths are a 75 per cent partner, but the Mathieson smarts have absolutely helped the relationship.
"They are extremely capable across all revenue streams and therefore much better equipped to handle the industry risks and headwinds associated with running over 30 venues.
"Having said that, we have very little debt as a family and will always love this industry so if any pub owners were thinking of making a move, I'd suggest they call or contact me at email@example.com or TheRainmaker@Laundy.com.au… probably better to go with the former."
An industry analyst told TheShout that "the Laundys are obviously looking to capitalise on the lower prices to be found in a depressed marketplace, spending their money reinvesting in what they know".
The Quarryman’s is only 1km from the Sydney CBD and the freehold included three levels of triple street frontage and 12 PMEs.
In coming days TheShout is proudly launching a new service, PubsForSale, aiming to be the primary online destination for activity in this space.