By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

The large Melbourne-based hospitality group has paused their plans for an IPO offering to consider a private equity offer.

After a year of speculation regarding the plans to list the company on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), Dixon Hospitality began a serious effort to court investors for the IPO launch several weeks ago, engaging Evans & Partners and Morgans to attract the necessary $100 million investment. The IPO roadshow also took place in the last two weeks, meeting potential financiers in Australia, New Zealand and in south-east Asia.

However on Friday, the plans to pursue an IPO were put on hold, and several media outlets were speculating as to why, with Fairfax suggesting that two private equity offers had been made, and News Corp suggesting that Dixon Hospitality was pursuing a private equity buy-out after a lack of interest during the IPO roadshow.

With rumours abounding, a Dixon Hospitality spokesperson has clarified the situation for TheShout.

“It’s been shelved at the moment, simply because it was a very strong result on the management roadshow, however an approach has been made by private equity; and so the board has felt that it’s most appropriate to pursue that enquiry, that offer, just to make sure that we’re maximising shareholder value.”

While the firm was not disclosed the spokesperson suggested that it was “a very firm approach”, and that Dixon Hospitality will now take the next few weeks to go over the details of the offer.

The Dixon Hospitality portfolio currently consists of 48 venues across the eastern seaboard, with the majority to be found in Melbourne. The company has increased its presence in Sydney in the last 12 months, and as part of their purchase of several Keystone venues at the end of 2016, has also owns a steak restaurant in Brisbane.

The Shout Team

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

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