By Ian Neubauer
Victorian pub baron Bruce Mathieson said his ALH Group would take advantage of distressed hoteliers to acquire new pub assets.
“I’m not trying to be nasty, but we look at other groups that are not going so well and we think there are good opportunities to go out and buy plenty of assets,” Matheison told the Australian Financial Review.
Matheison owns a 25 per cent stake in ALH, the largest pub owner in the country with 271 pubs on its books. The remaining 75 per cent is owned by Woolworths, with the group worth an estimated $4.4 billion.
Formed in 2000, ALH has gone from strength to strength in a period of volatility that has seen other owners like Hedley Leisure and Gaming Fund (HLG) sell some of their most valuable pub assets.
ALH also stands to make a windfall from the deregulation of the Victorian gaming industry in 2012, which will for the first time see pubs and clubs own and operate their own poker machines in the state.
“We’ve got such a long way to go with this business,” Mathieson said.