Two Iconic Queensland Pubs, the Aspley Hotel and The Grove Hotel, Sold for $28 Million

In a significant move within the Australian hospitality industry, privately owned pub and liquor operator Star Group has reportedly acquired two iconic Queensland pubs, Brisbane’s Aspley Hotel and The Grove Hotel in Mackay, from the ASX-listed MA Financial-managed Redcape Hotel Group for a total sum of $28 million.

Industry insiders identified Star Group as the buyer with the sale process for both properties handled by pub specialist HTL Property and JLL.

Thirty-eight licensed establishments, more than 90 retail liquor stores, and six lodging facilities,  all form part of the Star Group portfolio. The Brisbane-based business is led, managed, and primarily owned by Harvard-educated Steven Shoobridge and has over 1,200 workers.

The acquisition of the Grove Hotel purchased for $17.5 million, and the Aspley Hotel, acquired for $10.5 million, complements Star Group’s existing array of establishments. 

The Aspley Hotel, with roots dating back to 1934, features 40 gaming machines, multiple function rooms, and a convenient drive-through bottle shop. These assets will be valuable additions to Star Group’s portfolio which includes Brisbane’s The Beaudesert Hotel and Richlands Hotel and other venues across regional Queensland.

Following the announcement that redemptions for Redcape would be suspended until the end of the year, the transaction is a part of MA Financial’s strategic measures to improve its balance sheet. 

MA Financial recently announced a 12 per cent decline in underlying revenue but welcomed $1.26 billion in record-breaking inflows. Hospitality assets make up $1.8 billion, or 21 per cent, of the $8.6 billion in total assets managed by MA Financial as of June 30. These assets include Redcape’s $1.4 billion portfolio and pubs owned in other unlisted funds, such as the Beach Hotel at Byron Bay.

Mackay’s The Shamrock, the last Redcape hotel available for purchase, is currently listed by JLL and HTL. This 1.14-hectare venue offers restaurants, drinks, and gaming along with retail liquor, and a sizable lodging segment. Industry experts say that Mackay’s The Shamrock could sell for more than $30 million.

The expressions of interest process will conclude on 13 September 2023. 

Published 4-September-2023

Delaware North Buys Aspley Hotel to Establish its Presence in Australia’s Gaming Industry

Delaware North, an American food service and hospitality company, has acquired Aspley Hotel in a bid to establish its presence in Australia’s gaming and hospitality industry.

The company has been busy with several acquisitions and partnerships whilst looking to expand its operations in Australia and New Zealand. Aside from the Aspley Hotel, Delaware North also bought Shafston Hotel in East Brisbane.

Both of these newly acquired hotels currently house a gaming lounge. Aspley hotel has 40 Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM) and Shafston Hotel has 34 EGMs.

Aspley Hotel Gaming Room Photo credit:

According to the managing director of Delaware North, Gary Brown, the company is at the beginning of its growth phase. This phase can help in creating direct and indirect employment opportunities for hospitality and food services workers. This is expected to translate to local and state economic growth, as well as help businesses that are active in hospitality services.

Delaware North’s expansion plans come on the heels of their role as hospitality services provider at the Australian Open in January 2018, where they provided services to around 750,000 people for two weeks.

With operations across four continents worldwide, Delaware North has been ranked as one of the world’s largest privately held companies by Forbes magazine.