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Topgolf expansion plans halted

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Topgolf expansion plans have been put on hold according to an article from Ausleisure:

The Village Roadshow board has reportedly halted plans to develop up to eight Topgolf venues in Australia and the Asia Pacific as a result of uncertainty over the financial performance of the first Gold Coast location.

In 2016, Village Roadshow signed an agreement with US-based Topgolf to bring the concept to Australia. Village took a 67% equity stake and provided 100% of the $35 million capital.

The company had big ambitions for the brand – and in March 2018 called on landowners to support locations for new venues. At the time, Village Entertainment Chief Executive Kirk Edwards stated "we plan to open eight venues across Australia and key APAC territories, and have been delighted to hear from multiple operators of both new and existing developments across Australia.”

The company spent $35 million on its first Topgolf venue which opened in June 2018, next to its Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast and Warner Bros. Movie World attractions.

However, the Australian Financial Review has reported that Topgolf Australia has opted to reduce its stake in the partnership from 33.3% down to 3.7% - taking Village’s exposure to 96.3%.

The AFR reports that plans to build eight Topgolf centres have now been put on hold. The news coincides with reports of disagreements between Village Roadshow Deputy Chairman, John Kirby; Executive Chairman, Robert Kirby and Chief Executive, Graham Burke.

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Slightly concerning, given Helensvale may not be the ideal test location for the concept. Hopefully it continues to perform well as I think a well-situated Topgolf in Melbourne and Sydney would have excellent potential.

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