John Singleton group to reap $35m from pub sale

A group led by John Singleton sold the Marlborough Hotel to another group led by Matt Moran.
A group led by John Singleton sold the Marlborough Hotel to another group led by Matt Moran.

One of Sydney’s best known pubs, the Marlborough Hotel in Newtown, has hit the market with its high-profile owners set to reap about $35 million.

The sale of the pub by businessman John Singleton, former Qantas chief Geoff Dixon and investment banker Mark Carnegie, who own it along with their portfolio’s financial backer SunSuper, comes as the value of Sydney hotels has soared.

“We just felt we bought the portfolio very well; the market is strong so we want to take advantage of the strong market,” Dixon tells The Australian.

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“We are expecting $35 million for the Marlborough Hotel. It owes us $15.5 million,” he says.

The investors bought the hotel for $12.175 million in 2012 as part of a spree on iconic pubs.

“We have spent a few million on it and buying yields have come down quite substantially,” Dixon says.

The pub has just been listed through Ray White agent Andrew Jolliffe, who said that A-grade freehold hotel yields could fall below 8% in gateway east coast cities.

“With the prevalence of well-priced debt and record revenue levels in some sectors of the industry, the downward pressure in yields is far more pronounced than any upward pressure we’ve seen exhibited,” he said.

The offer of the Newtown property — the biggest in the $300 million Australian Pub Fund the trio run with the backing of the Queensland superannuation fund — comes after the vehicle reaped hefty prices from three of its hotels in December.

The fund’s Peakhust Inn sold for $22.5 million, the Bristol Arms went for $19.5 million and the Como sold for about $5.5 million.

– with Lisa Allen

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