By James Atkinson

Fresh from buying Arthur Laundy's Sydney hotels, the acquisitive Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) has concluded new deals to purchase a further seven pubs in the city.

ALH has acquired several pubs owned by the Waugh brothers, Ashton and Mitchell, including the Gymea Hotel, a major pub in Sutherland Shire that was extensively refurbished in 2008.

The Waugh brothers' Billabong Hotel in Merrylands and the Blue Cattle Dog Inn in St Clair have also changed hands under the deal.

ALH has also agreed terms to acquire pubs from the De Angelis family; among which are the Toongabbie Hotel and the Green Valley Hotel in Miller.

Industry sources say the deals were brokered by Ray White Hotels' Andrew Jolliffe, who concluded the sale of the Laundy Hotels to ALH in recent weeks.

But Jolliffe could not be contacted for comment today. 

ALH managing director Ross Blair-Holt was also unavailable for comment on the deals or associated media reports portraying the company as a gaming colossus.

While ALH will own well in excess of 300 pubs once its latest deals are finalised, in reality the Australian hotels market remains very fragmented.

ALH's current pub portfolio represents just 4 per cent of the country's poker machines.

Industry sources have also ridiculed reports valuing the company's deal to acquire the Laundy pubs at in excess of $500 million.

The deal to acquire the leasehold of the Laundy pubs is more likely to be worth about $200 million.

The passage of the Laundy deal now rests with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which is expected to announce its decision in the next few weeks.

The Shout Team

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

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