Liquor war pushes sales past reserve

East coast buyers dug deep to pay more than expected to secure two Coles-owned liquor outlets in Perth, which were auctioned in Melbourne.

A Sydney-based investor bought the Victoria Park Hotel for $5.53 million, 25 per cent more than expected, while a Melbourne buyer won the bidding for the Duncraig First Choice Liquor outlet, which sold for $7.01 million, 15 per cent higher than expected.

Coles will remain a long-term tenant with 15-year leases at both properties and renewal options.

Auctioneer Burgess Rawson said the sale of the Victoria Park Hotel exceeded the reserve by $1.125 million and set a new national record for a Liquorland-leased hotel.

Burgess Rawson director principal Jamie Perlinger said the price for the Duncraig outlet was $910,000 above the reserve price.

The other Coles-owned property sold at the auction was The Old Bundy Tavern in Bundaberg, which sold to a Sydney investor for $7 million.

Although auction prices far exceeded expectations, Graeme Clarke, Burgess Rawson's manager of hospitality and tourism, said any re-pricing of hotel and liquor outlets would be determined by valuers.

"This information will get to valuers relatively quickly and it will be interesting to see what their perception is," he said.

The Duncraig outlet opened 18 months ago and has been renovated by Coles to its new First Choice Liquor format.

"It's in immaculate condition and that fact drew a lot of attention here and on the eastern seaboard," Mr Clarke said.

"The Sydney buyer who purchased the Victoria Park Hotel tried to buy another Coles hotel auctioned recently but missed out, so he was very keen to acquire this one."

The West Australian

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