Manly’s iconic Hotel Steyne sold to Iris Capital for a ‘record price’
Manly’s Hotel Steyne has a new owner, who has reportedly paid a “record price” of between $60 and $80 million for the iconic pub.
Sydney-based hotel baron Sam Arnaout’s Iris Capital group has bought the high profile property, following an extensive expressions of interest campaign that began in February.
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National boutique brokerage firm HTL Property, would not be drawn on the sale price, however described it as a “record price” in their official statement announcing the deal.
Early on in the campaign, independent industry sources suggested the sale could fetch between $60 million and $80 million in today’s market, based on the value of the real estate, the business and recent sales. It is believed the pub has sold within this range.
HTL Property’s managing director Andrew Jolliffe said he could not comment on this speculation. However he confirmed the sale had been finalised and was unconditional.
“We were tasked to run an international sale process for a very important piece of Australia’s hospitality history, and the prosperous outcome of the on market program reflects the level of interest garnered and generational value so inherent in this prestigious asset,” he said.
“Multiple local, interstate and international investors vigorously challenged for the right to acquire this most unique of hospitality assets, and the winning bidder identified with the once in a lifetime opportunity to create asset class price history.”
Mr Jolliffe told the Manly Daily the buyer pool came down to a shortlist of five, including two international buyers, two from Sydney and one from interstate.
That was reduced to a final two. He did not identify the other party, but did say there was continuing interest in the property throughout the three-month campaign.
“The interest was there right up until the end,” he said.
Mr Jolliffe said he was impressed with Mr Arnaout and his enthusiasm for the Hotel Steyne property.
“He is exactly the kind of person that pub is going to benefit from because he understands community,” he said.
The landmark and multi-level waterfront hotel, spread across approximately 2000sqm, was brought to market by its high profile owners, a consortium that comprises businessman John Singleton, hotelier Arthur Laundy and investors Robert Whyte and Mark Carnegie.
They paid about $30 million for the property in 2010, and have reportedly spent about $5 million on the hotel since then.
Speaking to the Manly Daily today, Mr Laundy said that he was happy with the outcome, both from a sale price perspective and the new buyer.
He said he had bought and sold more than 90 hotels in his almost 60 years as a publican, and Hotel Steyne would easily be in his top 10.
Mr Laundy won’t be a stranger to the pub though. He owns the nearby Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific Hotel, and said he had made many friends at the Hotel Steyne over the years.
“I’m sorry to see it go, but by the same token I’m quite content with the decision to sell,” he said.
“It is a very very special property, and an iconic site. Sam (Arnaout) spoke to me last night and I wished him all the best — I certainly offered to assist him in any way I can.
“I wish him all the luck in the world.”
Mr Arnaout said in the statement the sale positioned Iris Capital as a genuine hospitality leader in “this part of the world”, and complemented its investment strategy in respect of similar landmark projects such as Newcastle’s $700 million East End development.
“We are delighted to have acquired what is, on any fair test, Australia’s leading hotel property in the form of Manly’s iconic Hotel Steyne,” he said.
“Dealing with such wonderful businessmen like Arthur Laundy is always a thrill, and our young company now looks forward to taking the baton from him and furthering the vision he and his hugely successful partners originally envisaged at this irreplaceable property.”
He told the Manly Daily he was not expecting to make any radical changes to the property.
“The short-term plan for me is to understand the community needs and what the community wants, if anything to do with the hotel,” he said.
“I see this as a generational asset for my family.”
Buyers came from all over Sydney, Australia and even overseas to look at the Hotel Steyne, including fellow pub king Justin Hemmes, although a spokeswoman for his company Merivale said he was not looking to buy Hotel Steyne.
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