Ashburton Licensing Trust selling four businesses

11:36 AM Tuesday March 1, 2016 Colin Taylor

The Speight’s Ale House at 245 Burnett St, Ashburton.

The Ashburton Licensing Trust is selling four of its businesses in and near the provincial Canterbury town while retaining ownership of the land and buildings.

The businesses are the popular Speight’s Ale House at 245 Burnett St, the nearby Somerset Grocer business and the Tinwald Tavern and Motel in Archibald Street which doubles as State Highway One.

Philip Cooper of Colliers International in Christchurch says the sale of the high profile businesses will include their respective long-term leases to the trust including rights of renewal, the goodwill, chattels and stock at valuation.

“These four businesses can be bought as one parcel or individually,” says Cooper who is selling them by deadline private treaty, closing March 24.

“They are all strongly patronised and operate successfully,” he says.” The Licensing Trust has owned them for many years and there are few opportunities to buy thriving businesses such as these in expanding Ashburton.

“The businesses are expected to attract interest from diverse groups who understand the hospitality industry and who can see the excellent opportunities they provide.”

The Ashburton Licensing Trust has operated since 1949 with all profits returned to the community - the basis on which all licensing trusts have operated in New Zealand.

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The Somerset Grocer on the ground floor of 161 Burnett St just off the main street of Ashburton.

Cooper says the Ashburton Licensing Trust has realised, like many others, that hospitality businesses are better placed in the hands of private operators who are more proactive and much more efficient at running them.

“It’s much the same as the major breweries did in the mid-1980s. They put their hotels and taverns into private hands while maintaining the right to supply. Similarly, the trust will benefit from the sale proceeds while receiving a pre-determined rental income which will give certainty and growth income going forward.”

He said the leases will all be new, providing new and experienced operators an excellent basis on which to operate.

The main part of Speight’s Ale House is housed in a building over two levels dating back to the 1900s. In 2004 the ground floor was extended to the car park at the rear. The building area comprises a 437.20 sq m ground floor, 92.30 sq m first floor and a separate garage area of 29.60 sq m.

Before being converted into a bar, the building was formerly the old Westpac bank and, more recently, offices for Agricom.

Cooper says the new business owner will need to refurbish the interior and modify the layout to enhance income opportunities.

“The Speight’s Ale House brand is an enduring one that has worked extremely well in both metropolitan and rural New Zealand. The brand is controlled by Lion Corporation and, as such, any purchaser will need to be aware of the requirement to conform to the standards set down by Lion in respect of presentation and brand support.”

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The Tinwald Motel at 103 Archibald St, Ashburton. 

The Somerset Grocer is on the ground floor of 161 Burnett St in a new Somerset building, just off the main street of Ashburton.

Cooper says the business is well known in Ashburton and was won several awards. Open seven days a week, it has a diverse range of offerings from breakfast until the early evening. An external catering service is also part of the operation.

“The business is extremely well presented in modern premises with little or no deferred maintenance,” he says.

The Ashburton Licensing Trust is seeking to sell both the Tinwald Tavern and Tinwald Motel businesses together on separate leases at 103 Archibald St where the buildings occupy a total land area is 6072 sq m split into five titles.

Cooper says the sale presents opportunities for a buyer given the scope of the tavern property and the demand for accommodation within the current motel operation.

The 12 motel units, all with kitchen facilities, were completed in 2009 and include a two-bedroom manager’s unit.

The tavern is a relatively large commercial complex in Ashburton and also comprises the Stables Restaurant and Liquorland. A fourth pizza and takeaway business previously operated on the site but is now closed.

“The tavern has multiple income streams and is in an excellent overall condition.” Cooper says. “Consequently there is some vacant space in the complex for prospective growth and ample opportunity to expand the business.”