Oscars Hotels owners Bill and Mario Gravanis have completed a joint venture with Craig Power and his wife Tierzah Douglas to buy The Pub Group Tamworth, allowing members of the Douglas family to divest their assets and to position the group for future growth.
The Pub Group Tamworth, based in north-western NSW, has for the past 30 years been owned and operated by prominent publicans Bevan and Joan Douglas and operated for some years by Jarod and Tanika Douglas, Craig Power and Tierzah Douglas.
The divestment allows Bevan and Joan to now fully enjoy their retirement, with Jarod and Tanika moving on to pursue other interests.
The Powers’ new joint venture partners are long-time friends Oscars Hotels owners Bill and Mario Gravanis, and the new joint venture, TPG Hotels, represents their first big move into regional pubs.
The joint venture includes the entire Pub Group Tamworth portfolio, The Longyard Hotel, The Pub, Southgate Inn, The Family Hotel, The Good Companions, Moonshiners Honky Tonk bar and Britten’s Brewery.
Oscars Hotels owns more than 30 venues, including pubs and apartments, which are mostly located in metropolitan areas.
“I have been friends with Bill and Mario for many years and they were more than happy to join with us to take the business into the future,” Craig Power told Australian Hotelier.
“Bevan my father-in-law started the business in 1989. The majority of the family wanted to divest, so we purchased the business with Bill and Mario as partners.”
The goal is to grow the group, Power says, and ultimately to expand by picking up other assets as the opportunity arises.
“The group now has two experienced operators – one in regional pubs and one in city pubs – coming together to create some wonderful experiences for their communities.”
Tamworth is best known for its annual Country Music Festival which takes place in January. The event, which accounts for five per cent of the group’s revenue, did not go ahead last year, although Power hopes the up-coming festival will be a big one as it marks the event’s 50th anniversary.
Power says the New England area in the north-west of NSW, which has seen a flurry of pub sales in recent months, has flown under the radar for investors for many years, despite the fact that the Tamworth pub market is as strong, if not stronger, than other more prominent large regional centres.
“I think people are starting to realise there are opportunities here,” he says.