Private equity giant takes majority stake in Australian hospitality with top firms’ help

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Two global law firms have helped an American private equity giant acquire a majority stake in one of Australia’s largest venues operators.

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) in the latter’s purchase of a majority of Dixon Hospitality. The deal valued Dixon Hospitality at about $190m, according to The Australian,

Meanwhile, Allens fielded a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers from its private equity, corporate, real estate, and banking and finance groups to advise Dixon.

Financial details of the transaction, including the exact stake taken by KKR, have not been disclosed. Dixon runs more than 40 hospitality venues across Australia and is a major player in the stand-alone pubs, bars, and restaurants industry.

The Allens team was led by private equity and mergers and acquisitions partner Emin Altiparmak, who was assisted by mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets partner Robert Pick, finance partner Warwick Newell, and real estate partner Michael Graves.

“This transaction continues the uptick we're seeing in private equity-led investment activity in Australia, particularly in the services sectors,” Altiparmak said. “It also marks another example of PE sponsors seeking platform businesses to achieve growth and scale. This is the opportunity that Dixon Hospitality brings for KKR and management.”

Partners Mark McNamara, Ros Anderson, and Yuen-Yee Cho led the KWM team. Anderson said that KKR’s global operational expertise will bolster Dixon’s service delivery across the country.

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