Coles strikes $200m pubs and liquor deal

First Choice LiquorColes has entered into a $200 million deal with private equity-controlled Australian Venue Co (AVC), splitting the operation of its hotels and bottle shops business.

Under the joint venture, AVC will manage the day-to-day operations of the 87 hotels that comprise Coles’ hotel and gaming business, Spirit Hotels, and will receive the economic benefit of this business.

AVC, which is majority owned by US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), is a highly experienced operator of hospitality assets, Coles said in a statement to the ASX on Tuesday.

Coles will continue to manage the 243 retail liquor stores in Queensland and 10 retail liquor stores attached to its hotels in Western Australia and South Australia which operate under the Liquorland, First Choice Liquor Market and Vintage Cellars brands. Coles will receive the economic benefit of this business.

Coles liquor stores outside Queensland will be unaffected by the transaction.

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