Alternative investment firm PAG has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in food and beverage-led hospitality group Australian Venue Co (AVC) from investment firm KKR.

According to a report by Reuters, the deal is valued at more than A$1.4bn ($898m), citing two sources with direct knowledge of the transaction.

AVC owns and operates more than 210 unique pubs, bars and restaurants in metro, suburban and regional locations across Australia and New Zealand.

PAG Private Equity partner and co-head Lincoln Pan said: “Our goal is to work with strong businesses and help them become even stronger in Australia. AVC has created some of the most unique and iconic venues across Australia and New Zealand and we are looking forward to supporting them on their next stage of growth.”

Planned to be closed in late 2023, the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Australian Venue Co CEO Paul Waterson said: “We look forward to working with our new partners in PAG, their investment affirms the strength of the platform and our future growth potential in Australia and New Zealand.”

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In 2017, KKR acquired a majority stake in AVC. At that time, AVC had a portfolio of 50 leasehold venues.

Jefferies and Allens advised on the transaction to KKR and AVC. BofA Securities and Ashurst advised PAG.

PAG, which invests in food and consumer businesses in Australia, owns Patties Foods, Cordina Farms and Craveable Brands.