By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

Dixon Hospitality has followed up its purchase of two sites within Sydney’s new Barangaroo precinct by buying the entire Beer DeLuxe portfolio from Armada Hospitality.

The six Beer DeLuxe venues – two in Melbourne, two in regional New South Wales, plus one in Sydney and a Brisbane venue that is in the process of being built – were sold to Australia’s largest non-gaming pub group for $31 million.

The deal happened rather quickly, with only three months between Dixon Hospitality’s approach for the venues, negotiations and the purchase being finalised by Cropley Commercial.

“We are delighted at the prospect of Beer DeLuxe joining the Dixon stable. It is a very successful brand and we intend to continue the commitment of great service and an outstanding range of beer. Given our corporate strength and resources we are able to continue building the brand and investing in the concept,” said Michael Dixon.

Craig Shearer, Director of Operations at Armada Hospitality was also pleased with the transaction.

“We’re thrilled. It all happened very quickly, but I think it’s a great outcome for myself, my business partner and Dixon Hospitality.”

As part of the deal, Shearer and his business partner Jason Sheather, will remain on board to assist with the expansion of the Beer DeLuxe brand.

“We have a pretty clear vision of where we want to take the brand, and being involved with the Dixon guys to bring that to life is something that was paramount to getting the deal across the line,” explained Shearer.

“We have worked closely with Beer DeLuxe founders Craig and Jason in recent months to ensure the brand would be able to continue in its current format and also to expand under Dixon ownership. The fact that both Craig and Jason will continue to be involved in the business, assisting us to roll out new Beer DeLuxe venues true to the Beer DeLuxe vision, is great,” Dixon stated.

The expansion includes seeing the opening of the Brisbane venue – slated for 2016 – and the potential rebranding of some of the pubs in the Dixon Hospitality portfolio as Beer DeLuxe sites.

“[Dixon Hospitality] loves the brand, they love what it stands for and they really just want to grow it and see it continue to improve.”

The Sydney venue, in Darling Harbour’s King St Wharf precinct, opened earlier this year, and has already proved to be quite popular with Sydneysiders.

“It’s continuing to make its mark within our stable of venues. The reaction from the Sydney market has been extremely positive so we’re thrilled with how the Sydney venue is tracking.”

Dixon Hospitality is expected to float an IPO on the ASX 300 in the second half of 2016.

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