By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

Receivers and managers of The Keystone Group, Morgan Kelly and Ryan Eagle of Ferrier Hodgson, have today announced that CBRE has been appointed as the lead sales advisor for the sale of The Keystone Group assets, with Daniel Dragicevich and Sam Handy to take charge of the campaign.

All 17 venues of The Keystone group have continued to operate since the Ferrier Hodgson were appointed, and in fact, recruitment has continued in some of the venues.

Kelly announced that both a recapitalisation of the group and sales of individual assets would be considered in the sales process, and that already interest has been fielded from over 120 different parties.

“We are conducting a focussed sale strategy, specifically targeting buyers with the balance sheet strength and operational depth to be able to manage these acquisitions,” Kelly said.

The one caveat is that the Jamie’s Italian restaurants must be sold as a group.

“The Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Parramatta Jamie’s Italian restaurants are some of the best performing Jamie’s Italian restaurants globally and offer a very attractive opportunity for the right partner. We will continue to work closely with the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group with a view to identifying a new partner for their business in Australia,” Mr Kelly said. “This may be part of a whole of enterprise sale or as a separate portfolio.”

In a statement, Ferrier Hodgson has explained how the sales process will work:

“The sale process will start with national advertising of the sale of the Group restaurants and hotels. Non-binding expressions of interest will be required to be submitted to develop a shortlist. 

“Short-listed parties will be invited to commence due diligence via a commercial-in-confidence data room before submitting formal offers. 

“Formal bids are expected to be submitted and assessed in September 2016, with the aim of reaching in-principle agreement with a buyer or buyers in late September 2016.”

 “The Keystone portfolio consists of some of the most well-known and highly regarded venues and brands across the country and we expect significant  interest from all sectors of the hospitality market both nationally and abroad,” stated Dragicevich.

He added: “Whilst the 17 venues will no doubt attract interest from portfolio buyers, it’s expected that there will be intense competition from parties seeking to acquire segments of the portfolio and individual piecemeal businesses.”

Kelly is hopeful that sales will be finalised for the commencement of summer trade.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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