Singo eyes a cool $15m with sale of Ice­bergs

The Weekend Australian - - THE NATION - LISA ALLEN BEN WIL­MOT

Flam­boy­ant ad­man John Sin­gle­ton is to sell one of Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous restau­rants — the Ice­bergs Din­ing Room and Bar at Bondi Beach — with hopes of pock­et­ing at least $15 mil­lion.

Mr Sin­gle­ton and his in­vestor mates, in­clud­ing ex-Qan­tas chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­off Dixon, fi­nancier Mark Carnegie and their backer Sun­corp, have been sell­ing hos­pi­tal­ity as­sets of late, of­fload­ing at least $100m worth of pubs.

In 1998, Mr Sin­gle­ton stared down coun­cil op­po­si­tion when he stepped in to save the Ice­bergs club. It had been built in the 1960s and was rid­dled with con­crete can­cer. He said at the time he had not struck a great deal, but the res­tau­rant has since be­come one of Aus­tralia’s best-known lo­ca­tions. “I’m re­ally happy I was able to do my bit to save the Ice­bergs,” he said yes­ter­day.

“We now have an in­sti­tu­tion that the com­mu­nity, politi­cians, swim­mers, din­ers of NSW and Aus­tralia can be truly proud of. It is etched in the Aussie ethos of help­ing your mates, do­ing your bit and pro­vid­ing some­thing for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions not only to be proud of, but to re­flect on what we had to do to make this great place even bet­ter.”

The res­tau­rant and bar is now op­er­ated by chef Mau­rice Terzini.

Ray White sell­ing agent An­drew Jol­liffe ex­pects in­ter­est in the 675sq m res­tau­rant and bar from do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional groups.

Terzini’s com­pany holds a lease to Mr Sin­gle­ton un­til 2036, in­clud­ing op­tions, and is un­der­stood to be pay­ing rent of about $850,000 a year. Mr Sin­gle­ton has a lease over the prop­erty, built on crown land, un­til 2042.

“What Singo and oth­ers did in back­ing the re­pur­pos­ing of this un­de­ni­ably iconic prop­erty on Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous beach is truly re­mark­able, and what the cur­rent op­er­a­tor Mau­rice Terzini and his ex­traor­di­nary team are do­ing there seven days a week is, by any mea­sure, world class,” Mr Jol­liffe said.

“I don’t know any­where else in the world where, at an A-grade hos­pi­tal­ity de­vel­op­ment, you can en­joy a meal and drinks at a van­tage point be­hind the line-up of leg­endary right-hand waves that serve as Bondi’s call­ing card.”

Ice­bergs is be­ing of­fered via an in­ter­na­tional ex­pres­sions-ofin­ter­est cam­paign, which closes on Oc­to­ber 12.

Res­tau­rant free­holds are among Syd­ney’s most valu­able com­modi­ties. The home of Neil Perry’s Rock­pool Bar & Grill was snapped up for al­most $30m last year by fund man­ager Al­le­gra Euro­pean Hold­ings, owner of the nearby Bvl­gari store.

The Wool­loomooloo Fin­ger Wharf restau­rants Kings­leys and Otto Ris­torante were also sold to a lo­cal pri­vate in­vestor for more than $20m last year. Those water­front restau­rants were sold by JPMor­gan As­set Man­age­ment.

The Ice­bergs Din­ing Room and Bar at Bondi Beach Tox­teth Ho­tel, Glebe $20m Kin­se­las Ho­tel, Dar­linghurst $22m Marl­bor­ough Ho­tel, New­town $33m Peakhurst Inn, Peakhurst $22.5m Bris­tol Arms, CBD $19.5m Como Ho­tel, Como $5.6m Sales in the past year by the Aus­tralian Pub Fund which is co-owned by Sin­gle­ton, Ge­off Dixon, Mark Carnegie and Sun­corp

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