The City Lane

Two of Australia’s biggest hospitality operators have entered an asset swap agreement for venues in Melbourne and Western Australia.

Australian Venue Co. will acquire The Raffles Hotel and The Royal in Perth from Colonial Leisure Group in exchange for The Vincent and O’Connell’s in Melbourne.

“We have a lot of mutual respect and understanding, and both parties can feel confident that they’ll acquire well-run venues,” says Australian Venue Co. CEO Paul Waterson.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for each group to purchase assets that play to their strengths.”

Colonial Leisure Group says the Melbourne venues are a perfect fit for the company’s portfolio, and are part of a continuous move to make Victoria a primary focus.

“O’Connell’s and The Vincent are institutions in their own right,” says CEO Tim Fitzgerald.

“Both hotels are beloved in their local communities with outstanding reputations that have been built over many decades.

“While Raffles and The Royal have been much-loved members of the CLG family, we’re confident that with AVC’s large footprint in WA, they’re perfectly placed to continue the legacies of two outstanding venues.”

Australian Venue Co. has acquired an additional seven Western Australian Venues from Ark Group, securing the keys for Durty Nelly’s, Market Grounds, The Generous Squire, the Bassendean Hotel, Scarborough Beach Bar, Galway Hooker and The Peach Pit.

“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,” said an Ark Group spokesperson.

All venues will continue to operate as usual following the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in July 2022.