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Pokies giant Endeavour splashes out $40m in maiden Sydney pub deal

Newly-listed pubs and pokies giant Endeavour group has made its first foray into the lucrative Sydney pub market after joining with property group Charter Hall to swoop on the sprawling Terrey Hills Tavern in Sydney’s northern beaches for $40 million.

The sale will be a bonanza for the Sydney-based Feros family which bought the mega 1.6-hectare property at 2 Aumuna Road in 2008 for $13.5 million.

Under the sale, Endeavour, which has Melbourne pub baron Bruce Mathieson as its major shareholder, will take over the leasehold which includes about 20 poker machines, while Charter Hall, through its managed fund, will acquire the freehold.

The tavern occupies a large 1.6 hectare site in Terrey Hills.

The tavern occupies a large 1.6 hectare site in Terrey Hills.

It is the first Sydney acquisition in 15 years by pub operator ALH which merged with the Woolworths-backed Endeavour Group last year. Endeavour subsequently spun out of Woolworths in a public float last month and Mr Mathieson has a 14.6 per cent holding.

A spokesperson for Endeavour said the pub purchase was a good fit for the company’s extensive portfolio and the company would continue to provide a “great service” to the local community.

“Endeavour Group is pleased to welcome the Terrey Hills Tavern to the group and consider it a great fit with our portfolio, adding to both our hotel and retail networks,” the spokesperson said.

Endeavour’s move comes just weeks after its split from Woolworths in a $10 billion demerger that saw the business instantly become the country’s largest drinks retailer and pubs operator.

It’s also a swift follow-through on Endeavour’s promise to increased its level of investment in the pubs side of its business, with chief executive Steve Donohue telling The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald at the time that the segment had been largely neglected under Woolworths’ ownership.

“We aspire to not only improve our existing hotels but perhaps add to [our network] in a really considered and disciplined sort of way,” he said. “We feel confident in our ability to bring a number of new hotels into the fold.”

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