By Clyde Mooney – editor Australian Hotelier
In a move reported to be part of a large scale expansion, a reinvigorated Sydney hotel group has purchased Surry Hills’ Crown Hotel.
The publicly listed Lantern Hotel Group (LTN) has taken on the landmark Sydney venue for a figure rumoured to be circa $16 million, as outgoing venders Savage Hotel Management cite plans for a ‘bush-change’.
“Lantern Hotel Group is excited by the opportunities that the acquisition presents for the group,” says LTN executive director Russell Naylor.
“It is a strong fit with our existing portfolio of hotels and offers a wide variety of bar, dining, function and entertainment options whilst demonstrating compelling upside and a strong underlying property value.”
The venue, which is consistently in the top 150 gaming venues in the state, is close to one of the ten venues the Group already operates – the Dolphin Hotel, also in Surry Hills.
“Our family has owned the hotel for 36 years and its divestment represents an opportunity to unlock equity in the asset to execute our new strategic focus of acquiring large country freehold and leaseholds in strong regional centres across New South Wales,” states Emma Savage of Savage Hotel Management.
The Crown Hotel incorporates two bars, a gaming room with 30 EGMs and smoking solution, TAB, bottle shop, versatile function space, a 100-seat bistro, eight boutique accommodation rooms and a roof-top residence, across four levels.
It also boasts a 24-hour liquor licence and a rare 3-hour gaming shutdown, and was transacted off-market by Sam Handy and John Musca of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, who report considerable interest and six offers to purchase.
“Incorporating highly desirable core trading attributes such as a 24-hour liquor licence and 30 PMEs across a four-level trading footprint, the asset attracted widespread interest from some of Sydney’s largest on-premise and gaming publicans,” reports Handy.
Lantern emerges after a restructure of the IEF Real Estate Entertainment Group last year, and is moving to an integrated operation model from its former strategy as passive investor in entertainment freeholds.
The Group, which counts some major investment vehicles as shareholders, is rumoured to be planning to boost the value of its property portfolio by up to $100 million.