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Receivers appointed to Sydney pub group turning over $23 million a year

A Sydney pub group which includes high profile venue Jacksons on George has gone into receivership.

PPB Advisory was appointed on Tuesday as receivers for the J&J O'Brien group of companies by the ANZ bank.

J&J O’Brien also owns and operates the Belvedere Hotel, the Cohibar and The Watershed Hotel.

PPB Advisory's Marcus Ayres and Stephen Parbery have been appointed as receivers and managers to the group and Quentin Olde and Michael Ryan of FTI Consulting have been appointed as administrators.

The receivership follows the recent collapse of iconic Sydney pubs The Annandale Hotel, The Sando and of pub group National Leisure & Gaming which operated 35 pubs in New South Wales and Queensland.

At the time these collapses were blamed on heavy handed action by the banks and onerous lease obligations but it is unclear whether either of these issues are a factor in J&J O’Brien’s collapse.

Ayres told SmartCompany it is still “very early days” in the receivership process and the receivers have not identified the cause of the group’s collapse.

“[J&J O’Brien] hasn’t complied with its banking requirements; it’s pretty hard to identify what is going on,” he says.

“We just want to keep everything running smoothly for the time being.”

In the meantime the receivers will continue to operate J&J O’Brien’s four venues.

“We are just making an assessment of the business and it is still business as usual but we will develop a strategy to put the assets on the market,” Ayres says.

He says the group had a turnover of $23 million last year and its major creditors are the breweries and ANZ bank.

“They are pretty substantial assets we just have to work out the best way to put them on the market,” he says.

A first meeting of creditors is scheduled for 29 April in Sydney.

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