The Duke of Kent Hotel has been snapped up in a multi-million dollar transaction.
The Fitzmaurice street venue is the latest to be purchased by the syndicate that recently bought The Sportmen's Hotel and the Turvey Tavern in a sale brokered by HTL Property director Blake Edwards.
The syndicate includes local publican Sean O'Hara, Sam and Laura Cruikshank, and other buyers.
Industry sources confirmed the final sale price sat around $3.5 million, a price that takes into account a long-term tenant and Wagga's current market.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The freehold interest sale will see the pub itself continue to be operated and leased by current licensee Ward Gaiter. The publican's long-term 26-year lease of the property was a condition of the sale, and new owners confirmed it would be honoured.
Syndicate leader Sam Cruikshank said the group sought out the pub actively and didn't shy away from paying top dollar for their third Wagga venue.
"We like pubs and we like Wagga Wagga, so we asked Blake to approach the vendors and broker a deal," Mr Cruikshank said.
"We paid more than we wanted to, but in the long run it will be a great investment."
Sean O'Hara said the still-reasonable price and central location were both driving factors behind the decision to buy the property, as was the gaming license included in the sale.
"For Wagga, the price point was pretty good, it would be considered entry level," Mr O'Hara said of the sale.
"It's got a great location on the main street."
The publican also pointed out the venue has a valuable gaming license in an area notoriously tricky to secure new machines in.
"It's got 12 gaming machines that we believed are quite valuable," Mr O'Hara said.
The sale was brokered by HTL on behalf of Sam Whyte, a passive investor.
The reported sale value is almost exactly the amount former owner Jack Egan, who owned and operated the venue for more than 10 years, sold for back in 2017.
Mr Edwards said the pub was a smart buy for the group, given the scarcity of similarly priced venues post-COVID.
"With all the transactional activity that has occurred post COVID-19, there are not many entry level pubs still for sale," Mr Edwards said.
"Hence strategic and deliberate buyers are putting their hands on any available stock."
The pub is the third Wagga hotel to sell recently with Sporties selling to the group in March for a reported $5 million, and iconic venue Romano's sold to local family the Oates for a reported $6 million last week.
The Duke of Kent will be the fifth Wagga watering hole Sean O'Hara currently owns shares in.
He said the group is considering other regional areas for further investment opportunities, but it is not currently planning on any more purchases in Wagga.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: