03/05/2018 - 14:58

Steinberg-backed fund completes $160m purchase

03/05/2018 - 14:58

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A new business backed by Quadrant Private Equity and the Perth-based family of Timezone founder Malcolm Steinberg has completed the purchase of Ardent Leisure Group’s bowling and entertainment division.

Steinberg-backed fund completes $160m purchase
The Timezone business was established in 1978 by Malcolm Steinberg. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A new business backed by Quadrant Private Equity and the Perth-based family of Timezone founder Malcolm Steinberg has completed the purchase of Ardent Leisure Group’s bowling and entertainment division.

The Entertainment and Education Group (TEEG) was established last year and its first deal, completed in November, was the acquisition of the Steinberg family’s Timezone business for an undisclosed sum.

In December, ASX-listed Ardent said it had agreed to sell its national network of ten-pin bowling centres after being approached by TEEG.

Ardent said this week it had completed the sale for an enterprise value of $160 million.

This equated to a multiple of 27.1 times core earnings (Ebitda) less routine capex.

The Ardent assets trade as AMF Bowling Centres, Kingpin bowling lounges and Playtime arcades.

Ardent has been transferring these assets from traditional bowing centres to multi-attraction entertainment destinations.

It said TEEG planned to continue investing in and growing the bowling and entertainment division as part of a larger, diversified operation.

TEEG said its strategy was to invest significant growth capital across Australia and Asia to capitalise on the rapid growth in the entertainment and early education sectors, which were benefiting from the emerging middle markets and growing consumer spending habits. 

The Timezone business was established in 1978 by Malcolm Steinberg.

It operates 220 centres across six countries (Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Singapore) and has annual sales in excess of $120 million, according to the group’s website.

In a LinkedIn post, Mr Steinberg said the Timezone business had achieved great success and overseen re-invention and recreation of the brand over the past 40 years.

“With Quadrant’s investment, we are excited to take on an experienced and credentialed investor who will help drive the business further and to greater heights,” he said.

Timezone was previously part of the Steinberg family’s Leisure & Allied Industries, which traces its origins back to 1958 when Mr Steinberg imported 21 pinball machines to WA.

Mr Steinberg was the group’s CEO for 55 years until 2013 when he was succeeded by his son Adam Steinberg, who is also chairman of LAI’s supply company Helix Leisure.

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