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The Keystone Group Becomes One Of The Largest And Most Dynamic Hospitality Groups In Australia

August 21, 2014 Corporate No Comments Email Email

The Keystone Group (Keystone) today announced that it has been successful in acquiring the Pacific Restaurant Group Limited (PRG), forming one of the largest and most dynamic hospitality groups in Australia.

The Keystone Group was formed in 2000, with the launch of its first venue, Cargo Bar.  It has subsequently grown to become a highly successful owner-operator of 13 high-profile venues in Sydney, including Cargo Bar, Bungalow 8, the Loft, the Sugarmill, Kit & Kaboodle and Sweethearts, Gazebo at Elizabeth Bay, the Newtown Hotel, The Rook, Winery at Surry Hills as well as Manly Wine and the recently launched Rushcutters.  It also recently entered a joint venture with the Australian Turf Club to develop and operate The Stables at Randwick Racecourse.

PRG is a national full-service restaurant business and operates the Kingsley’s restaurants in Sydney and Brisbane, the Chophouse Restaurant in Sydney and has the Australian and New Zealand master franchise for Jamie’s Italian restaurants, in partnership with Jamie Oliver International.  PRG currently operates Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Sydney, Perth and Canberra, with developments underway in Adelaide and Brisbane.

Keystone Chairman, Warren Duncan, said: “We are very excited to announce the completion of the acquisition of PRG. Both are successful and highly complementary businesses and the combination of these two businesses will create an organisation unique in the Australian food and beverage sector.”

The acquisition of PRG will also see Grant Blackley join the Group as Chief Executive Officer (formerly Group Chief Executive of Network Ten Australia) and he will bring considerable corporate experience as well as a fresh approach to unlocking substantial future value for the combined group.

Mr Blackley said: “This acquisition was a carefully considered and deliberate strategy to combine two like minded, clearly defined and well managed companies. The combined suite of brands will offer the scale, financial stability and operational structure to assist in unlocking substantial future value in this dynamic sector.”

He added “The overall portfolio and appeal of Keystone has been expanded by the number of venues and the geographical spread of the combined group. It will place Keystone in a unique position to opportunistically evaluate and work closely with property owners to secure and develop iconic locations for existing and future brands.”

Adam Heathcote, Managing Director of PRG, will remain with the business and will become Chief Operating Officer, Restaurants for Keystone.  He will join John Duncan, former Managing Director of Keystone, in the newly created role of Chief Property & Corporate Development Officer, Ant Prior Chief Operating Officer, Hotels, Bars and Wine Bars and Paul Schulte assumes the new role of Group Creative Officer, Keystone.

Importantly, the team will also be strengthened with the appointment of Deborah Kemp as Chief Financial Officer, Christine Squadrito as Group Human Resources Manager and Matt Milledge as Project Development Manager.

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