AVC lifts its presence in WA to 19 venues

June 14, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

Australian Venue Co will own and operate 19 venues in Western Australia from next month after entering into a conditional acquisition agreement to purchase seven venues in Western Australia from Ark Group and an asset swap on two venues with Colonial Leisure Group.

AVC will acquire seven venues from Ark Group and an additional two venues as part of an asset swap with Colonial Leisure Group (CLG). 

Over the past two years, AVC has focused on acquiring landmark destinations across the country, and has been operating in Western Australia since 2017, when the group acquired Publican Group.

AVC CEO Paul Waterson (pictured above) said the acquisitions reflects the group’s confidence in Western Australian hospitality industry.

“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,” said Mr Waterson.

The venues will continue to operate as usual following completion of the acquisition, anticipated in July 2022, and AVC will continue to employ all venue staff.

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.”

AVC will acquire Ark’s Perth venues: Durty Nelly’s, Market Grounds, The Generous Squire and the Bassendean as well as Scarborough Beach Bar, Galway Hooker and The Peach Pit. The Bassandean Hotel is currently closed for renovations.

In 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.

Mr 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,” says Mr Waterson.

In addition to the acquisition of nine venues, AVC has invested in the Western Australia hospitality industry with a recent $2.3m renovation of Victoria Park Hotel and a $9m renovation of the Claremont Hotel, which is due to re-open later this year.

Australian Venue Co currently operates 10 venues in Western Australia including Victoria Park Hotel, The Aviary and The Guildford Hotel.

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