Newbridge to buy Aussie pubs business

The San Francisco Asia-Pacific specialist has submitted a ‘surprise’ $790m bid for Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, the largest operator of pubs Down Under.

Newbridge Capital, the Asia-Pacific focused joint venture between Blum Capital and Texas Pacific Group, has agreed to purchase Australian pubs operator Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group for A$1.1 billion ($790 million).

Australia Leisure is Australia’s largest operator of pubs, with 131 establishments and liquor shops across Australia.

Newbridge entered an unexpected bid over grocery chain Woolworths. The Newbridge bid for the publicly traded company was accepted by the Australia Leisure board.

Australia Leisure went independent last year after spinning out of brewer Foster’s Group. Foster’s retains a 10 percent stake in the business.

Newbridge, a joint venture between San Francisco-based Blum Capital and Fort Worth, Texas- and San Francisco-based Texas Pacific Group, is better known for its investments in East Asia. Among its landmark deals have been the purchases of controlling stakes in major banks in South Korea and, most recently, China, with an investment in Shenzhen Development Bank.