By Annette Shailer
WA’s Compass Hotel Group has collapsed with receivers Taylor Woodings assuming control of the group’s hotels and bottle shops, yesterday (Mar 22).
The company owes close to $100m in debt to the St George Bank.
The ASX-listed company has 12 venues which are located in the Perth metropolitan area and include the Albion Hotel, Brighton Hotel, Belmont Tavern, Lakers Tavern and Peel Alehouse.
“The Group’s hotels and bottle shops will continue to operate on a ‘business-as-usual’ basis. Individually, they are high quality assets and operationally remain unaffected by our appointment,” said Quentin Olde of receivers Taylor Woodings.
“The Group’s employees, including staff working at the hotels and bottle shops, will not be impacted by the appointment of the Receivers. As Receivers, we will now assess the financial position of the Group and its assets, and will investigate opportunities for their sale in the future.
“We will maintain communication with key stakeholders, including employees, throughout this process and will provide more detail to these stakeholders as it becomes available.”
The embattled pub group has struggled in recent times reporting a $3.38m net loss in the six months to December 31, 2010, due mainly to lower valuations on its properties. In contrast the group posted a net profit of $1.77m in 2009.
Compass had announced to the ASX earlier this month that it planned to fortify its position in the competitive Perth pub sector by undertaking renovations at all 12 of its venues.
“All operating venues require extensive refurbishment and this investment is considered critical to improve revenues and operating performance,” the company said in a statement at the time.
“Over the past 12 months, competitive supply markets have also increased and a number of venues are showing patrons shifting to newer and more modern establishments.”
It is unclear whether the renovations will still go ahead.
Trading in the group’s shares were suspended back in July, 2009 after the pub owner shed its CEO, managing director, chairman and an independent director.
Shares in Compass were last traded on March 16, 2011, closing at 1.5 cents a share, a significant fall from the $1 per share level when the pub group first listed in January 2008.