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Owners agree sale of ‘leisure-tainment’ business Funlab to private equity firm TPG Capital

Owners agree sale of ‘leisure-tainment’ business Funlab to private equity firm TPG Capital
January 15, 2021

Global private equity firm TPG Capital has agreed to acquire Australian bowling alleys and mini golf business Funlab from its current owners at a reported cost of $250 million.

Agreed before Christmas, the sale by Australian private equity group Next Capital, is expected to be complete in March, subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

As part of the deal with TPG, Funlab Chief Executive, Michael Schreiber and his management team - who were advised on their options by Arnold Bloch Leibler - will roll a portion of their 25% stake into the new venture.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review, TPG is expected to partner with Schreiber to grow the business, which was heavily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. Funlab operates leading   brands including Strike bowling alleys, Holey Moley indoor golf venues, Sky Zone trampoline centres, B. Lucky & Sons game arcades and Juke's karaoke bars.

TPG’s approach is about capitalising on the long-term shift in consumer spending towards experiences and away from products, which has shopping malls and other landlords trying to anchor properties with large leisure and entertainment offerings.

TPG reckons is understood to be looking to expand Funlab’s sites in Australia and overseas, develop new concepts and better use data and analytics to tailor products to customers.

Next Capital’s sale comes a year after it had an agreement to sell the business to fellow Australia PE firm Archer Capital. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns led to that deal not proceeding.

Funlab has also licensed its Holey Moley brand for a mini-golf television game show in the USA.

Following the program’s success the ‘extreme mini golf’ series will launch on the Seven Network on 1st February.

Images: Strike bowling (top) and Funlab Chief Executive, Michael Schreiber (below).

Related Articles

9th December 2020 - BGH Capital confirmed as Village Roadshow’s new owners

13th October 2020 - Demographic shift marks the rise of Social Entertainment Centres

17th September 2020 - Collective Leisure becomes Australia’s first social enterprise leisure management company and forms partnership with ACPE

8th September 2020 - Funlab launches new virtual offerings   

10th July 2020 - Funlab launches virtual ‘apart-y’ experiences across its brands

24th June 2020 - Funlab reopens Strike Bowling and Holey Moley attractions

15th November 2019 - Funlab launches new holes at Little Bourke Street Holey Moley attraction in Melbourne

6th September 2019 - Funlab set to launch new entertainment experience in Brisbane

27th June 2019 - Funlab launches new Juke’s Karaoke Bar concept at Crown Melbourne

16th April 2019 - Funlab opens new attraction in Wollongong

14th February 2019 - Report suggest Funlab owner looking at exit options

16th December 2018 - Funlab opens new Strike Bowling attraction in Perth

11th December 2018 - Funlab opens its largest Holey Moley attraction at Clarke Quay in Singapore

22nd November 2018 - FunLab celebrates reaching $100 million in revenue with a national initiative

21st July 2018 - Holey Moley opens new attraction in Wollongong

29th June 2017 - Attractions operator Funlab acquires AttracTivity entertainment centre brand

19th December 2016 - Family Entertainment Centres to thrive in the UAE

12th December 2016 - Next Capital acquires FEC operator Funlab

27th July 2016 - Funlab explores new ownership options

11th December 2013 - Strike bowls over Sydney’s Macquarie Centre


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