By Clyde Mooney

Riversdale Group has executed another step in its expansion strategy with the purchase of a high-profile Newtown venue.

In a "spirited auction" involving some big hitters, the iconic Marlborough ‘Marly’ Hotel sold under the hammer for $12.175 million to the John Singleton-backed consortium, the second high-profile Newtown venue to sell in as many days.

The venue is the seventh for the ambitious Riversdale Group, and Patrick ‘Paddy’ Coughlan says they’re about "half way".

"Our target is to build a $150 million pub portfolio and this purchase takes our combined pub assets up to around $85m."

Speaking to TheShout, Coughlan said Newtown was of interest due to their plans to own "the best pub in some of Sydney’s best suburbs".

"This was part of our strategy to have the best pub in a number of areas. Newtown was a missing piece."

The outgoing owner, Chris Crawley, who owned the venue for 27 years, is believed to be rationalising his portfolio and put the Marlborough to market with a cap rate of 10.6 per cent.

Knight Frank managed the sale and was happy with the result, after a contractual hiccup last week involving requisitions saw the original auction delayed.

"It was a spirited auction, and reflects depth of buyers in the marketplace for quality properties such as this," Mike Wheatley told TheShout.

The Sydney University students' favourite brings a 150-year history and includes Marly Bar, Bar Prego, Level One Bar, The Cellar, The Deck and the Marly Bottle Shop.

"Singo’s running out of places to drink, so we needed to add a new pub to the stable," quipped Coughlan.

"He asked Gina [Rhinehart] if she wanted to come in with us on buying the Marly… we’re still waiting on an answer."

For pubs currently on the market, check TheShout’s new Pub Sales page.

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The Shout Team

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

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