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Ardent Leisure shares jump on plans to sell its marinas

Deborah Thomas attends the YMCA Mother of All Balls in 2014 in Sydney. Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Ardent Leisure has settled on a strategy to further develop its Dreamworld theme park, turn its AMF brand into family centres and to sell off its marina assets.

The plan pushed Arden shares 11.8% higher to $2.18.

The strategy involves selling d’Albora Marinas, the largest marina group in Australia, including three in Sydney Harbour, two in Melbourne and a further two at the popular leisure destinations of Nelson Bay and Akuna Bay north of Sydney.

The company’s AMF branded bowling centres will be turned into multi‐attraction family entertainment venues along the lines of a successful new facility in Darwin.

Over the next three years the company plans to exit older, lower returning sites and achieve growth through the selective development of existing assets such as the flagship Kingpin at Crown Casino.

Dreamworld will be further developed to enhance its range of mass market entertainment experiences, meeting the anticipated increase in tourists to the Gold Coast, particularly from Asia and during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Neil Balnaves, chairman of Ardent, says CEO Deborah Thomas has started the process for the sale of d’Albora Marinas and the remainder of the initiatives will be implemented as a priority over the next 12 months.

“These decisions follow a period of review over the last six months and position the group as a premium family recreation and entertainment company with a singular focus on delivering outstanding customer experiences for our 17 million loyal patrons,” he says.

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