Allens advises KKR’s Australian Venue Co. on joint venture with Coles

Allens has advised global investment firm KKR and its portfolio company Australian Venue Co. (AVC) on the establishment of an incorporated joint venture, Queensland Venue Co. (QVC), with Coles Group (Coles).

Under the joint venture, AVC will operate and receive the economic benefit of the hotels/pubs owned by QVC, currently comprising 87 venues, while Coles will continue to operate and receive the economic benefit of the retail liquor outlets owned by QVC, currently comprising 253 outlets under the Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars banners.

The joint venture will allow AVC and Coles to focus on their respective core competencies, while continuing to comply with Queensland liquor and gaming laws which require the same licensee to own and operate both the hotels/pubs and the retail liquor outlets. AVC will pay Coles c. A$200 million for its stake in the joint venture.

Established in 2003, AVC operates a diverse portfolio of unique high end hotels/pubs, bars, restaurants and function spaces, with more than 60 venues nationally.

‘The joint venture demonstrates how private equity sponsors can develop unique bolt on opportunities for their portfolio companies. In this case, the joint venture is also transformational for AVC, more than doubling its existing portfolio of venues. We are proud to have again advised AVC on its ongoing significant expansion, further to numerous other bolt on acquisitions in recent years,’ Lead Partner Emin Altiparmak said.

Completion of the transaction is expected to occur in the 2019 financial year, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent.

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