Hungry investors expected to bite into Carl's Jr

By Colin Taylor

Carl's Jr restaurant  at 71-75 Greenwood St.
Carl's Jr restaurant at 71-75 Greenwood St.

A Carl's Jr restaurant in Hamilton has been put on the market for sale and leaseback by Restaurant Brands, the NZX-listed operator of KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Carl's Jr.

The freehold property at 71-75 Greenwood St on the corner of Greenwood and Bandon Sts, is featured in Colliers International's fourth New Zealand Portfolio magazine for 2013.

It will go under the hammer on the agency's New Zealand Portfolio commercial property auction day and will be sold at 11am on Thursday, October 10 at 151 Queen St, Auckland, unless it is sold by private treaty beforehand.

The property generates net annual rental income of $167,100 plus GST on a new 12 year lease with further rights of renewal giving a total potential lease term of 40 years.

Charlie Oscroft of Colliers International, who is marketing the food outlet with colleague Alan Pracy, says the sale presents an excellent opportunity to acquire a quality commercial asset occupied by an exceptional tenant on a brand new, long term lease.

"The property is offered with a new lease with rights of renewal. This will provide long-term income security for investors along with the potential for future income growth through rent reviews every three years," says Oscroft.

Pracy says the new store, which was purpose built for Restaurant Brands earlier this year, is well located on Hamilton's CBD fringe. It occupies a high profile site on State Highway 1 carefully chosen for its large catchment and high visitor numbers. "It's a proven location for fast food operators, on the main arterial running north to south through town, with several other global fast food chains also operating in the immediate vicinity," Pracy says.

The single level 278.5sq m building sits on a 2060sq m freehold site containing drive-through capability and 28 off street carparks. Pracy says the strength of Restaurant Brands' covenant is a big plus for prospective buyers.

"The business runs some of the world's most famous fast food brands and reported full year sales for the year ending February 25, 2013, of $311.9 million.

"The company's expansion in New Zealand has received a further boost recently with its acquisition of the rights to the Carl's Jr brand and the opening of several new outlets of the burger chain," Pracy says.

Restaurant Brands, which was floated in 1997, is a corporate franchisee with a support centre and head office located in Penrose, Auckland. It has 179 stores, employs over 3700 staff and serves over 60,000 customers a day in New Zealand.

"A business such as this makes the ideal commercial tenant: well-established, large and with plans for further growth, and demonstrating a successful financial history; so these properties make very attractive long term, passive, income generating investments," says Oscroft.

"It offers a simple investment in a popular asset class and we think it will prove attractive to a range of local buyers. We also expect to receive interest from investors around New Zealand looking for solid long term income and capital growth opportunities."

John Bowring, Colliers International's national auction manager, says retail investment properties have remained popular with investors even during the market downturn.

"Retail property offers investors easily understood fundamentals, and the market is now showing solid improvement, especially in prime locations. With the low borrowing rates that are available, we are seeing many people in the auction room looking to bolster their investment portfolios with strongly tenanted commercial properties."

- NZ Herald

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