Keystone Group managing director John Duncan says this week’s acquisition of Pacific Restaurant Group (PRG), the company that operates the Kingsleys, Jamie’s Italian and Chophouse venues, is ‘a great opportunity’.
Speaking exclusively to SpiceNews sister publication TheShout, Duncan said Keystone had entered into an agreement to acquire Pacific Restaurant Group and the company’s venues and now 1300 employees would come under the Keystone banner.
Duncan said, “It’s a good move for us and brings us up to a national scale. It will also create opportunities around the country and in New Zealand as well.”
There has been a longstanding relationship between Keystone and Pacific Restaurant Group, with the two jointly owning Rushcutters on Neild Avenue in Paddington, Sydney.
The takeover – which includes Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Canberra, Perth and Sydney, Kingsleys Steak and Crabhouses in Brisbane and Sydney, and the Chophouse in Sydney – will boost the Keystone portfolio to 20 venues.
The Jamie’s Italian restaurants are the brainchild of star British chef Jamie Oliver and have been a rampaging success since they debuted in Australia in July 2011.
Restaurants in Perth and Sydney regularly see queues out the doors for dinner service and two more venues in Adelaide and Brisbane are set to open soon.
“[Jamie’s Italian] has a great following and we are excited to be a part of it,” Duncan said.
When it opens at the end of 2014, the Brisbane restaurant will be the largest in Australia. It will be housed in a 1900s multilevel former department store and will be able to accommodate up to 240 guests, including a bar area seating 80 people.
Duncan said the company would look at not only growing the PRG brands across Australasia, but also Keystone’s own brands, which includes the highly successful Gazebo label.
“This will also provide a chance to look at our own portfolio and see what we can do at a number of developments and sites across Australia,” he said.
Duncan said there were a number of opportunities in the market at present and they were currently being evaluated.