Enjoying the sun ... the Watsons Bay Hotel now belongs to the Laundy family. Photo: Jennifer Soo
The Laundy family has paid $25 million for the iconic Watsons Bay Hotel in Sydney’s east.
Hotelier Fraser Short also purchased a small share, in a limited partnership with the Laundys.
The deal is consistent with the Laundys’ new direction that the family has decided upon after recently reassessing its business model.
It is the first time the two groups have joined to buy and manage a pub and is said to be the start of a new arrangement to take the competitive hotel sector head on.
The unlisted Laundy Group, fully owned by the Laundy family, is one of the biggest and oldest pub operators in the country with a portfolio that includes the Manly Pacific and the Steyne, also in Manly.
It also recently concluded a $500 million joint venture with Woolworth’s 75 per cent-owned Australian Leisure and Hospital Group.
Within that structure sits the Caringbah Inn, Sydney and the Twin Willows at Bass Hill.
It is said the Laundy family will now take a new direction and focus on buying iconic hotels with strategic partners and have a freehold property portfolio leased exclusively to ALH/Woolworths, in the same way as the ALE Group operates.
Fraser Short recently revamped the former Brooklyn Hotel into the Morrison on the corner of Grosvenor and George Streets, Sydney.
The Watsons Bay purchase comes weeks after the Riversdale Group with its partners John Singelton and former head of Qantas, Geoff Dixon paid $12.17 million for the Marlborough Hotel in Newtown.