A recent article in the Australian Financial Review reported that Australia’s second-largest hotel group, Australian Venue Co. is continuing its aggressive purchase of hotels this year.

Australian Venue Co chief executive Paul Waterson said the group, which has 215 pubs and bars in its portfolio, had extra “bandwidth” for acquisitions after PAG Asia Capital bought out KKR’s 80 per cent stake in a $1.45 billion deal, which settled this year.

The buy-up strategy is in stark contrast to Australian Venue Co’s larger rival, Endeavour Group, which has signalled it will slow acquisition plans to concentrate on lifting returns. This was in part a response to heavy criticism from one of its largest shareholders, billionaire publican Bruce Mathieson.

Mr Waterson said Australian Venue Co was trading solidly, and the company was on track to deliver around a 15 per cent increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the 12 months ended June 30.

Accounts lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show EBITDA in the last year hit $315 million, while EBIT was $201 million. Net profit after tax was $42.3 million, up 24 per cent on the $34 million record a year earlier.

Australian Venue Co bought 26 venues in the past year, opened two new venues, but disposed of four venues, for a net increase of 24.


Read more: Australian Venue Co: The private equity-backed firm is stepping up its pub chase (