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The Byron Bay hotel built by John 'Strop' Cornell just sold for $70 million

Simon Thomsen

Byron Bay's legendary Beach Hotel, originally built by Crocodile Dundee producer and writer John Cornell in the 1990s, has been sold for a record $70 million to Melbourne-based private equity firm Impact Investments Group.

The Australian says the venue - formerly nicknamed "Strop's pub" after the character Cornell played beside Paul Hogan - was bought by IIG, which is backed by on of Australia's richest families, property developers the Libermans. Justin is a co-founder of Square Peg Capital and runs the Jagen family investment firm.

Impact has been investing in renewables and owns 401 Collins St, Melbourne, Geelong's TAC building and several Queensland commercial properties.

The company previously invested in the Quicksilver building in Byron Bay to offer accommodation above the retail site for children with life-threatening illnesses for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Beach Hotel's current owner, Melbourne businessman Max Twigg, who bought the pub from Cornell in 2007 for $44 million, put the pub on the market last year amid speculation it could fetch up to $80 million. The hotel, which also has upmarket accommodation and a restaurant, is currently run under a 10-year lease by restaurateur John Van Haandel, who owns Longrain, in Melbourne. Van Haandel has another 10-year option which he plans to take up.

The deal with IIG is expected to take six months to finalise.