By Clyde Mooney

Following its recent delisting from the ASX and the appointment of a new high-profile chairman, a revamped Redcape is gearing up to make its presence felt on the struggling pub market.

The operator of 71 pubs and 20 bottleshops was bought by New York cooperative Goldman Sachs, York Capital and Värde Partners in a deal effectively valuing it at $635 million.

On May 10 the new owners removed Redcape Property Fund (RPF) from the ASX and two weeks later appointed former Foster's CEO and President, Trevor O'Hoy, indicating significant intentions for the restructured company.

Since the hedge funds took control of the company, the new-look Redcape has been anticipated to emerge from receivership to reap benefits in a slumped industry.

O'Hoy recently refused to comment on rumours that RPF was about to take on the bulk of the 30 hotels run by its tenant, National Leisure & Gaming (NLG), 20 of which it owns.

However, he did indicate that the pub landlord would eventually become "more equally balanced" in terms of ownership and management and suggested that the slide in valuations for both lease and freeholds meant "this is the time in the cycle to be buying", taking advantage of opportunities to pick up contracts for pubs now under the control of their creditors.

Sources told TheShout that NLG is likely to lead the management side of the new operation, led by CEO Dan Brady.

While some of NLG's portfolio would likely be re-assessed, top-performing leaseholds such as the Port Macquarie Hotel, Cabramatta Inn, and Cedars at Mt Druitt would be retained.

The Shout Team

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

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