Solotel, the hospitality group co-owned by chef Matt Moran, has bought Sydney CBD restaurant Chophouse from the receivers of the failed Keystone group.
The price has not been disclosed, but gives Solotel 27 venues, including Moran’s recently revamped Aria, Chiswick, North Bondi Fish, Opera Bar and Paddington Inn.
The sale comes six weeks after receivers for Keystone offloaded the Australian Jamie’s Italian chain to the Jamie Oliver Group, owned by the British celebrity chef, and six other venues, including Cargo Bar, Bungalow 8, and Kingsleys Woolloomooloo to the Melbourne-based Dixon Hospitality Group.
Dixon looked at purchasing Chophouse, but ditched the idea at the last minute.
The Keystone Group, which had 17 venues worth an estimated $100 million, was placed in receivership by its lenders in June this year. The company blamed debt used to expand the business, as well as Sydney’s lockout laws, for its failure.
The Sugarmill Hotel and Gazebo in Kings Cross, as well as Kingsleys Brisbane, remain on the market.
Solotel will take over Chophouse on Blight Street on Monday, December 19, and trade as normal, keeping the brand, co-managing director Bruce Solomon said.
“The Chophouse brand is incredibly strong and we are excited to add this very successful business to our portfolio,” he said.
Solotel merged with Matt Moran’s company, MorSol, earlier this year, adding the chef’s five restaurant and event businesses to the portfolio.
The purchase is the latest in series of consolidations in the hospitality industry as high-end restaurant groups increasing push for scale with possible IPOs planned for 2017, including Dixon Hospitality and Urban Purveyor Group, which recently acquired Neil Perry’s Rockpool group.
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