Thu, 13 Sep 2018, Larry Schlesigner, The Australian Financial Review
Offering vast desert vistas, lonely highways and menagerie of kangaroos, emus and camels, the most quintessentially Australian property portfolio - think Red Dog, The Dressmaker or even Wolf Creek - has hit the market with the offering of three remote outback roadhouses in the Northern Territory and South Australia.
Nullarbor Holdings, headed by former Woolworths veteran Tony McFadzean, is selling the famed Erldunda Roadhouse on the Sturt Highway east of Uluru, and the Border Village and Nullarbor roadhouses on South Australia's Nullarbor Plain overlooking the Great Australian Bight with a combined price tag of $30 million.
Sydney based Mr McFadzean, with his Brisabne based co-investors Thomas Collins and Thomas Robson, acquired the portfolio over the past five years and are selling to pursue other ventures.
"These outback travel centres are rare freehold businesses with incredible positions in relation to iconic Australian destinations, including Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and the Nullarbor," said Trudy Crooks from Resort Brokers, which is marketing the portfolio.
She said the portfolio would likely appeal to funds seeking higher returns beyong the CBD. "They might also appeal to fuel companies looking for good signage", she said. The three properties generated $20 million in turnover in the past financial year and a net profit of $4.3 million. They are being offered as fully staffed and managed investments. "Importantly, the high returns are driven by multiple income streams across a range of sectors from fuel service and retail to tourism and hospitality," Ms Crooks said.
A popular staging post for Red Centre travellers, Erldunda Roadhouse on four hectares is known as "The Centre of the Centre" of Australia. It includes a Shell roadhouse as well as 46 motel units, 96 caravan sites plus 30 emus, numerous kangaroos, an adopted camel called Carlotta, and Cluck Norris the rooster.
Border Village Roadhouse on the South Australia - WA border includes a BP - branded roadhouse, 34 motel rooms, three backpacker rooms as well as cabins and caravan sites, which the Nullarbor Roadhouse stands on a 65-hectare site with similar facilities, including 27 motel rooms and 74 caravan sites.
Ms Crooks is offering the three roadhouses alongside colleagues Kelli Crouch and Resort Brokers managing director Ian Crooks.