PAG to acquire KKR’s controlling stake in Australian Venue Co
Global investment firm KKR and PAG, a leading Asia Pacific alternative investment firm, announced today that they have entered into definitive agreements for PAG to acquire KKR’s controlling interest in Australian Venue Co (AVC). The financial terms of the high-profile transaction remain undisclosed.
Australian Venue Co: A Leader in Food and Beverage Hospitality
Portfolio Includes Over 210 Unique Pubs, Bars and Restaurants Across Australia and New Zealand
AVC is an industry leader in the food and beverage hospitality sector, owning and operating a wide range of more than 210 unique venues. These include pubs, bars, and restaurants situated in metro, suburban, and regional locations throughout Australia and New Zealand. The company has seen staggering growth since KKR’s investment in 2017, expanding its venue count by more than 300%.
PAG’s Investment Strategy in Australia’s Consumer Sector
Acquisition Follows Previous Investments in Craveable Brands, The Cheesecake Shop, and More
PAG’s acquisition of AVC aligns with the firm’s strategic focus on Australia’s rapidly growing consumer sector. The firm has previously invested in controlling interests in businesses like Craveable Brands, The Cheesecake Shop, and Cordina Farms. PAG recently integrated Patties Foods and Vesco Foods, manufacturers of popular Australian food brands such as Four’N Twenty and Patties.
Executive Reactions Reflect Optimism for Future Growth
PAG and AVC Executives Eager to Leverage Partnership for Further Expansion
David Lang, Partner and Co-Head of KKR Australia and New Zealand, highlighted AVC’s established leadership in the dynamic hospitality sectors of Australia and New Zealand. Lincoln Pan, Partner and Co-Head of PAG Private Equity, expressed excitement for AVC’s growth potential, noting the company’s strong business model and iconic venues. Australian Venue Co CEO, Paul Waterson, emphasized how the company’s growth, supported by KKR, has increased its employee base from 780 to 8,500, further showcasing AVC’s strong position for future expansion with PAG’s investment.
Transaction Slated to Close in Late 2023
Deal Subject to Regulatory Approvals and Customary Conditions
The high-stakes transaction is expected to finalize by the end of 2023, pending the fulfillment of standard conditions such as obtaining regulatory approvals. Jefferies and Allens acted as advisors to KKR and AVC, while BofA Securities and Ashurst advised PAG. KKR Capital Markets arranged the acquisition financing.