Australian Venue Co (AVC) is making a major push into the Western Australia market, entering into a conditional acquisition agreement to purchase nine venues from two hospitality groups. Seven venues will be acquired from Ark Group and two venues will be acquired as part of an asset swap with Colonial Leisure Group (CLG).
The acquisitions will bring the group’s Western Australian portfolio to a total of 19 venues. AVC has been operating in Western Australia since 2017, when the group acquired Publican Group. Its venues include Victoria Park Hotel, The Aviary and The Guildford Hotel.
Australian Venue Co CEO Paul Waterson said: “We love operating in WA, it’s a really strong market. We have a great team on the ground and look forward to growing our team and our portfolio of venues in the state.
“These pubs have been part of their community for decades, and we’re excited to be part of the next chapter. We can’t wait to meet the team and the locals at each of these venues.”
Venues in the Ark Group Acquisition are Durty Nelly’s, Market Grounds, The Generous Squire and the Bassendean Hotel, all located in Perth; plus the Scarborough Beach Bar, Galway Hooker and The Peach Pit in Scarborough. The Bassandean Hotel is currently closed for renovations.
A spokesperson for Ark Group said: It’s a big decision for us to sell our venues, but it is easier knowing that the Australian Venue Co. team are renowned, quality hospitality operators and that the venues are in excellent hands moving forward.
“Ark are proud of what the group has achieved and would like to especially thank all of our hardworking and dedicated staff and wish AVC all the best in the future.’
Australian Venue Co is undertaking an asset swap with Colonial Leisure Group. CLG will transfer The Raffles Hotel and The Royal in Perth to AVC, in return for AVC’s Melbourne pubs The Vincent and O’Connell’s.
Waterson said asset swaps were an attractive option for active operators looking to enhance and consolidate their portfolios.
“We have a lot of mutual respect and understanding, and both parties can feel confident that they’ll acquire well-run venues. It’s an excellent opportunity for each group to purchase assets that play to their strengths,” he said.
The venues will continue to operate as usual following completion of the acquisition, anticipated in July 2022, and Australian Venue Co will continue to employ all venue staff.