Hobart car dealership portfolio tipped to sell fast

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Melbourne car dealership king Marcus Birrell in selling a $50 million portfolio of seven car dealership sites in Tasmania in one of the largest of its kind on the Apple Isle.

The portfolio comes to market three years after Mr Birrell sold his Birrell Motors Group to ASX-listed AP Eager for $114 million.

It comprises dealerships in Burnie, Devonport, Launceston, Invermay, Derwent Park, Hobart and Glenorchy.

The dealerships are some of the oldest in Tasmania with the Motors business dating back to 1910 when it was started by Robert Nettlefold. It was bought by Birrell Motors in 2001.

Mr Birrell is a director of AP Eager and was chairman of Birrell Motors Group for 21 years before selling the business, including the Motors Group Tasmania business and Mercedes and Toyota dealerships in Melbourne, to AP Eager in November 2015.

As part of the deal, Mr Birrell also sold three Mercedes Benz dealership sites to AP Eager for $26 million but retained ownership of the Tasmanian properties.

Burgess Rawson’s Darren Beehag and Billy Holderhead are marketing the investment portfolio alongside Knight Frank Hobart.

It will be sold as part of a Burgess Rawson portfolio auction on April 3 at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.

The dealerships sell new and used cars including Holden, Hyundai, Honda, Isuzu Trucks, Volvo trucks, Mack trucks and UD Trucks.

Tasmanian commercial property, especially in Hobart, has become sought after by investors given the attractive yields and tourism-led local economy.

This appetite was evidenced by the December sale of the Bunnings Warehouse ground lease at the Royal Hobart Showgrounds for $14 million – more than $5 million above the reserve – on a yield of just 3.13 per cent.

Mr Beehag forecast a swift sale of the portfolio given the scarce nature of the offering and strong demand in the market.

“Rarely is such a broad range of AAA tenant-anchored opportunities of this calibre offered for sale, so we’re particularly looking forward to receiving strong levels of interest and serious bidders come auction day,” he said.

To find out more about the properties in our portfolio, and how we can help you with sales, leasing and property management services, please contact us.

Written by Larry Schlesinger, Australian Financial Review