Craig’s Royal Hotel bought by Black Rhino Group

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 11 March 2020

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Australia: The 19th century hotel, located in Ballarat, has been sold to pub operator Black Rhino Group for more than $12 million - a record for pub sales in the city.

The 37-room Craig’s Royal Hotel, at 10 Lydiard Street in Ballarat, Victoria, came to the market late last year as part of an expression of interest campaign.

The purchase bolsters Black Rhino Group’s presence in the region. The group operates venues such as the Railway Club Hotel in Seymour and the Victoria Hotel in Shepparton, plus a network of pubs in metropolitan Melbourne.

Will Connolly, JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality vice president, said: “As you can imagine, there was a lot of interest for a hotel with such a rich history and an extensive multimillion-dollar restoration”, stating that bids came from accommodation operators, hospitality groups, publicans, private equity and high net worth investors.

John and Mary Finning, who bought the property in 1999, invested millions to rebuild the hotel’s accommodation and to develop its restaurant.

Mr. Finning said: “It’s hard to see it go, but I am sure Dave and his team at the Black Rhino Group will enjoy it as much as we did.”

The hotel comprises a coffee shop and restaurant, as well as a lucrative gaming licence with 45 electronic gaming machines.

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