Pubs, Clubs, Caravan Parks

11/06/2018

HOSPITALITY, TOURISM & LEISURE ASSETS (“HTL ASSETS”)

As the economy transitions and grows, HTL Assets have become increasingly popular with investors and owner operators alike.

For investors it may be about chasing better yields and prospects for growth, whilst for the owner operator it may be for a combination of lifestyle and potential financial security.

The HTL sector covers a diverse range of property and business segments. These extend from Hotels/Pubs, Clubs, Motels, Caravan Parks, Gaming Venues and other assets.  They may be located on council owned land (leasehold) or come with access to freehold title.

At MCP, we have had direct exposure to financing and advising on a range of HTL assets.  From the experience of our customers, some of the key factors to consider when contemplating involvement in this sector include:

OBJECTIVES & TIMING

Once the initial excitement subsides, consider why you want to participate in the sector.  As an owner operator, the lifestyle that attaches to these assets may be the stuff of dreams, but can be wearing too.  So ensure you have the physical and mental stamina to support your business in the long term.

Be clear too in the outset of how long you want to own or operate the HTL.  The years can race along when you are having fun so make sure you have a succession plan in place.

DUE DILIGENCE

Do your research, both of the relevant demographics of the region and then make sure you buy the right HTL Asset in that region.

There is so much accessible data available now, outlining both property and people trends, so take advantage of it!   A simple residential property report for example contains details on age, nationality, ownership status etc. that provides broad insights into the area you may be considering for investment.

More specifically, make sure if you have plans for changes to the asset that there are no limitations such as  council-imposed restrictions on noise or operating hours. If there are existing contracts or lease in place make sure you get these properly reviewed too.

If you are a buyer it is worth speaking to a specialist business broker too.  This segment requires experience.

FINANCE

As a starting point, be aware that several HTL Assets are deemed by financiers to be “specialised” in nature, so by definition it is generally expected that the following characteristics will apply:

A more conservative Loan to Value Ratio (“LVR”) can be extended to the value of Assets.

Financiers will place strong focus on the experience of the borrower to own or operate the HTL Asset.

Where the HTL Asset includes both leasehold and freehold assets, make sure you understand the allocation of value between the two.

The more specialised the Asset, the more limited the potential financiers that will have the appetite to participate.

Once you establish the initial appetite, the independent valuation and the contents of this are often key to the terms of any approval.

In summary, try to be a little dispassionate and objective when looking at these assets, whilst keeping the dream alive.

More Information?

Contact: Ross McLachlan

E: r.mclachlan@mcpgroup.com.au  P: 0477 878 949  W: www.mcpfinancial.com.au