Laundy family snaps up Woolpack Hotel in $10m deal

Redfern’s Woolpack Hotel is popular with locals. Picture: HTL Property
Redfern’s Woolpack Hotel is popular with locals. Picture: HTL Property

The slew of significant pub purchases is picking up pace across NSW even as lockdown closes inner Sydney pubs with the Laundy family swooping on Redfern’s famed Woolpack Hotel in a $10 million deal.

The Laundy family and Justin Hemmes’ Merivale have been buying up pubs around NSW, setting a fierce pace ahead of the newly spun off Endeavour Group, which is backed by Bruce Mathieson, adding to its haul.

Endeavour signalled it would become a major pub buyer with the purchase of the Terrey Hill Tavern last week and it is chasing more purchases.

The Laundy family teamed with some new operators, including Aaron Crinis, in order to buy the Redfern Hotel. The pub was sold via agents Dan Dragicevich, Sam Handy and Andrew Jolliffe of HTL Property, with the inner-city freehold hotel drawing strong bids.

“Like O’Malley’s, the Hollywood and Strand hotels respectively, this multi-level city fringe freehold attracted huge footfall in terms of interest; the consequence of which resulted in a handful of selected parties battling it out for the prize at the end of the process,” Mr Handy said.

The Woolpack Hotel was sold by former JLL hotel agent Geordie Clark and business partner James Henty, who had owned and operated the popular hospitality property for 12 years.

The multiple level pub has prominent street frontage and has a strong local following in the eclectic suburb and adds the Laundy empire of more than 70 pubs.

The tycoon had most recently focused on buying up regional assets, including the record sale for a hotel in Albury when he was part of a syndicate that bought the Springvale Heights Tavern for $22 million. The Laundy family focus has most recently returned to Sydney.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to buy unique hotel assets and to partner with good operators who, in concert with what we have learned during our time in the industry, can combine with us to extract whatever upside might be inherent and available,” the billionaire publican said.

Mr Jolliffe pointed to the active pub market saying the agency had already sold $150 million worth of assets just two weeks into this financial year. He said there was an abundance of very determined pub buyers who had capital to chase more pubs.