Lantern Hotel Group to sell remaining Queensland assets
ASX-listed Lantern Hotel Group is set to exit the Queensland market, with plans to offload both the Central Hotel in Bundaberg and iconic Cairns Courthouse Hotel.
The listings follow a flurry of activity for Lantern, including the sale of GPO Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley for $5.25 million and The Bowral Hotel, in the New South Wales southern highlands, for $6.35 million.
Lantern CEO John Osborne says the move to sell the Central Hotel in Bundaberg and Cairns Courthouse Hotel is in line with the group’s strategy to divest non-core assets and focus on its New South Wales portfolio.
“Top pub”: Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel on the market
“The Central Hotel has been a passive investment for Lantern and is subsequently superfluous to our current business model,” Osborne says.
The sale plans will put investor interest in the Queensland regional hotel and pub market to the test, with CBRE appointed to sell both properties through separate expressions of interest campaigns.
Lantern is hoping to capitalise on an undersupply of quality pubs available in the marketplace.
CBRE director of hotels – Queensland, Paul Fraser says the sales are a rare opportunity.
“There haven’t been too many quality hotels in large regional centres available outside the south-east region of Queensland in recent times,” Fraser says.
The heritage-listed Cairns Courthouse Hotel is located in the heart of the Cairns CBD on Abbot St and is to be sold as a going concern, including its Commercial Hotel Licence and 35 Gaming Machine Authorities.
The unofficial home of the North Queensland Cowboys during the 2015 NRL season, the hotel includes multiple bars, a restaurant, function rooms and a large beer garden with a giant projection screen.
CBRE national director of hotels Daniel Dragicevich says potential buyers for the Courthouse Hotel will be many and varied.
“It’s a special property – not only is it aesthetically appealing but it has had such a strong history in the Cairns community and is likely to attract a wide range of potential buyers, including those outside of the hotel sector looking to purchase a trophy asset.”
“The hotel is recognised by many across Queensland as being an institution in Cairns and we are expecting strong interest from private pub groups, corporate groups and private publicans,” Fraser adds.
There haven’t been too many quality hotels in large regional centres available outside the south-east region of Queensland in recent times
Meanwhile, the Central Hotel in Bundaberg is also being offered as a going concern, including both the business and property components.
Located on a 1017sqm landholding in the Bundaberg CBD, the property offers a 25m frontage to Targo St and is operated under a 3am liquor license. The hotel also includes 14 Gaming Machine Authorities.
“We believe the market will see plenty of potential in the asset,” CBRE’s Glenn Price says.
“The hotel’s underpinned trade allows for a foundation to be built upon and strategic CAPEX investment into areas such as the gaming room and the unused upper level of the hotel will diversify the current mix of trade.”
Dragicevich, Price and Fraser have been appointed to sell the Central Hotel in Bundaberg via an expressions of interest campaign closing on July 14.
Price, Dragicevich and Danny Betros have been appointed to sell the Cairns Courthouse Hotel also through an expression of interest campaign closing a day earlier, on July 13.