US giant buys up two Brisbane pubs

The Shafston Hotel in East Brisbane.
The Shafston Hotel in East Brisbane.

American hospitality giant Delaware North has aggressively entered the nation’s gaming market, buying two Brisbane pubs for a total of more than $30 million.

The New York-based Delaware North has bought the Shafston Hotel in Brisbane’s east that has at least 34 poker machines, and the Aspley Hotel on Gympie Rd in the city’s northern suburbs that has about 40 pokies, in a bid to expand the company’s business into Australia’s gaming and entertainment sector.

The deals were negotiated by Savills agents Tony Bargwanna and Leon Alaban, with both hotels acquired from Colin Macleod’s Oz Pub Group.

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The Shafston Hotel is understood to have sold for about $18 million and the Aspley went for about $14 million. Savills refused to comment, while Macleod, chief executive of the Oz Pub Group, could not be reached for comment.

“We’re on the cusp of a growth phase that will create direct and indirect new employment opportunities for hospitality and food services workers, which will translate into economic prosperity for state and local economies, and businesses that are active in hospitality services,” says Delaware North managing director Gary Brown in a statement announcing the deal.

Delaware North has also been attempting to sell its upmarket Lizard Island resort off the Queensland coast for the past few years, but a spokesman says the resort is not on the market at present.

Meanwhile, Delaware North is opening several new food and beverage outlets at Sydney’s Central Station in the first half of this year, negotiating a deal with Sydney Trains.

In New Zealand, the New York-based company has entered a long-term partnership to operate the Pinewood Lodge in Queenstown. Pinewood Lodge has backpacker dorms, lodge-style private rooms, as well as new four-star self-contained cabins.

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