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