Australian Coles offloads hotel portfolio for A$200m

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Australian retail group Coles has sold a pub and hotel portfolio to KKR-owned Australia Venue Co for A$200m (US$140.8m), as part of a joint venture between the two businesses.

The Queensland Venue Co JV will comprise Coles’ Spirit Hotels business made up of 87 hotels, mostly in the state of Queensland, plus 253 retail liquor stores across the country.

The JV, which will be co-owned by Coles and AVC equally, will see AVC manage the day-to-day operations of the Spirit Hotels portfolio, while Coles will runs the retail liquor businesses.

“Over the past 12 months Coles has undertaken an extensive review of its Spirit Hotels business to identify a suitable partner,” said Coles CEO Steven Cain.

“AVC is a highly experienced and responsible operator of quality hospitality venues with their current portfolio of more than 60 hotels.

“AVC has plans to grow the hotel portfolio in Queensland which will in turn provide Coles with the opportunity to further grow its Retail Liquor business in that state.”

The deal is expected to close later this year.

Established in 2003, AVC is headquartered in Melbourne and owns a portfolio of more than 60 pubs/hotels, bars and restaurants. KKR acquired a majority interest in AVC in 2017.