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Eight South Island pubs put on the market

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 03/09/2014

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One of the South Island's biggest hospitality and gambling groups has put its entire portfolio of eight bars and restaurants up for sale.

Northend Hotels, headed by long-standing hotelier Tony Crosbie, owns pubs from Motueka to Te Anau, including two in Canterbury.

The company is the biggest privately owned gaming operator in New Zealand, with about 130 machines across the eight venues. The gambling revenue they produce forms 37 per cent of trust Pub Charity's South Island turnover. Some of the bars also contain TAB outlets.

The eight pubs are on the market together for a negotiable price. There are two each in Nelson and Motueka, and one each in Blenheim, Christchurch, Timaru, and Te Anau. Crosbie lived in Christchurch and was already building up his South Island portfolio when he lost two city pubs in the earthquakes - Churchill's Public House in Sydenham and the Bourbon Street Bar in Manchester St. Both have since reopened at the back of the Sydenham site.

In the meantime, Crosbie moved north to Nelson and continued buying and running hospitality businesses at the top of the South Island. His co-shareholders are family members and a consortium of Christchurch investors.

Crosbie now says he is "looking for a new direction".

However, he would like to continue running the group for a new owner under a management contract.

Hotel broker Peter Harris of Bayleys described the sale as a "substantial offering", and expected the price to be at least $8 million.

The group is managed from a central location, allowing the owner access to financial transactions across all the businesses, with on-site managers responsible for day-to-day operations.

It employs up to 168 staff on a mix of leased and freehold sites.

FOR SALE

Richard Pearse Tavern – Timaru

Churchill's Tavern – Christchurch

Post Office Hotel – Motueka

Motty Malones Bar – Motueka

Star & Garter Tavern – Richmond, Nelson

Armadillos Bar Restaurant & Function Centre – Richmond, Nelson

Springlands Tavern – Blenheim

Moose Tavern – Te Anau

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