The Australian Financial Review

Feb 6th, 2020

by Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Tim Boyd

Asia-based alternatives manager OCP Asia is backing plans by Brisbane “hospitality king” Godfrey Mantle to turbocharge the growth of his Mantle Group, Street Talk can reveal.

It is understood OCP has stumped up an $85 million line of credit to the Queensland-based group, whose pub portfolio houses familiar Brisbane brands including the British-themed Pig ‘n’ Whistle pubs, Jimmy’s on the Mall and The Charming Squire.

If you haven’t had a beer at the Pig N Whistle in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall are you even a Queenslander? Harrison Saragossi

The senior secured facility has a three-year term, with a portion earmarked for a refinancing, sources said.

The bulk of funds will be used to froth up Mantle’s expansion strategy which sees the group acquire large format sites of more than 1000 square metres and with outdoor space and the potential to operate more than one venue.

A case in point is the Pig ‘N’ Whistle, which is a well known pub brand in Brisbane with three CBD locations, two inner CBD locations and one suburban location at Indooroopilly.

Mantle Group chief executive Arj Rupesinghe told The Australian Financial Review 12 months ago that he was “bullish” about the sector and had an aggressive expansion plan, which included opening two rooftop venues – Babylon and Duck & Rice – above Westfield Sydney in the CBD, and Squires Landing in the Rocks in 2019.

The three new Sydney venues are tracking ahead of expectations, sources said on Thursday.