One of Queensland’s richest families has revealed the size of their fortune as part of a court bid to ensure the vast hotel empire is not broken up.
One of Queensland’s richest families has revealed the size of their fortune as part of a court bid to ensure the vast hotel empire is not broken up.

Pub empire family’s mega-fortune revealed

ONE of Queensland's richest families has revealed the size of their fortune, as part of a court bid to ensure the vast empire is not broken up and divided between them or sold outside the family.

The McGuire family, who own the largest family-owned and operated chain of hotels in the state, have told the Supreme Court that their Brisbane hotels are worth $185 million.

This is up from an estimated $138m in 2014, according to The Courier-Mail Rich List.

SCROLL DOWN FOR A FULL LIST OF THEIR HOTELS AND VALUES

Tom McGuire, Richard McGuire, Jim McGuire, Matthew McGuire, Regina McGuire, John Jeffs, and Damian McGuire at the Colmslie Hotel in Morningside. Picture: Peter Cronin
Tom McGuire, Richard McGuire, Jim McGuire, Matthew McGuire, Regina McGuire, John Jeffs, and Damian McGuire at the Colmslie Hotel in Morningside. Picture: Peter Cronin

The revelation of the current values of each of the 10 Brisbane hotels was made in an affidavit sworn by Tom McGuire, a director of McGuire Hotels Pty Ltd (MH), and one of four primary beneficiaries of the RJ McGuire testamentary trust (trust).

The primary beneficiaries of the trust are the four grandchildren of Irish policeman, James McGuire who opened his first Brisbane hotel in the 1880s.

Mr McGuire states in his affidavit that MH had applied to the court in a bid to extend the lifespan of the trust which owns shares in nearly a dozen companies which own the hotels.
The family is made up of four siblings - Richard James McGuire, James Thomas McGuire, Regina Honora McGuire and Thomas Harrington McGuire, their 17 children and 44 grandchildren, court documents state.

Unless a Supreme Court judge gives them the green light to extend the vesting date of the trust until 2060, the empire is due to be sliced up and split between the heirs in 15 years, or sold.

Vesting in 2035 could mean the end of the McGuire empire, as well as a $30m capital gains tax bill, Mr McGuire says in his affidavit.

"The last date chosen was June 30 2035," Mr McGuire says in his affidavit.

"At that time, it was not anticipated that younger generations of the McGuire family would be interested in continuing the business," he said.

Mr McGuire says that now several heirs are interested in working in the business, with two boys in the fourth generation of the family having roles as company directors in the business.

The new vesting date of 2060 has been chosen because it will give the family "time to transfer" the business to the next generation.

In 2060 the youngest grandchild of the primary beneficiaries will be 70 years old, Mr McGuire says in his affidavit.

Tom McGuire’s son Matthew McGuire, with Damian McGuire and Richard McGuire, at the Colmslie Hotel in Morningside. Picture: Peter Cronin
Tom McGuire’s son Matthew McGuire, with Damian McGuire and Richard McGuire, at the Colmslie Hotel in Morningside. Picture: Peter Cronin

Mr McGuire also outlined plans to expand the business with investments into shopping centres, aged care and "stand-alone accommodation".

MH employs over 600 staff, and is investing $4m in the Logan Village hotel and is building a $15m hotel in Yarrabilba - a new housing estate south of Logan - this year, court documents state.

Mr McGuire also said he was asking the court to amend the trust so that children born out of wedlock can inherit their slice of the family business.

The ten hotels ranked by value include the Calamvale Hotel, the Colmslie Hotel in Morningside, the Queenslander in Waterford, the Alexandra Hills Hotel, The Paddo, in Paddington, the Tugun Tavern, RQs Tavern in Robina, the Logan Village Hotel, and The Junction in Annerley.

The values include the value of the land, hotel, plant, goodwill, licences and stock, court documents state.

The case is set to be heard on Thursday.

Headlines