Bids now closed for Keystone Group

27 September, 2016 by
Danielle Bowling

Expressions of interest in purchasing the Keystone Group, or individual venues within the group, have now closed.

Receiver Morgan Kelly said, “More than 80 interested parties were provided access to the data room to conduct due diligence.

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“We are very pleased with the level of interest that has been shown in the venues, which is testament to the operating strength of the individual businesses.

“The Receivers are now reviewing indicative offers and entering into negotiations with a range of parties that represent credible candidates to acquire some or all of the Keystone Group.

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“Through this process all of the venues are continuing to trade strongly as we head into the busier time of year for hospitality venues.

“Due to the level of interest in the data room we have extended the expected sale completion timeline. Subject to negotiations we expect to provide a further sale update in the coming weeks,” Kelly said.

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The Group entered receivership in June this year. A statement issued by Ferrier Hodgson at the time said the receivership was the result of the company’s inability to “reach an agreement with the board on key aspects of the Keystone Group’s financial structure.”

A subsequent statement issued by Richard Facioni, Keystone’s executive director, and John Duncan, managing director, said Sydney's lockout laws and debt raised to fund expansion were significant contributors to the group’s demise.

 "Two years ago The Keystone Hospitality Group undertook a major expansion program, including acquisitions, to become a significantly larger, national group,” the statement read.

"Keystone today is an operationally strong business with over 1,000 employees across the country, with a number of iconic venues and brands within its portfolio and a highly dedicated team. However, the debt raised to undertake its expansion, combined with changes to the local market, including lock out laws, have placed significant financial strain on the business.”

Keystone venues include Bungalow 8, Cargo Bar, the Jamie’s Italian restaurants, Chophouse (Sydney and Perth), Gazebo, Kingsleys (Brisbane, Woolloomooloo), Manly Wine, Sugarmill Hotel, The Rook and The Winery.