Australian retailer Woolworths has bought a 16% stake in compatriot pubs group Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group (ALH).

Woolworths may go on to acquire a greater stake in the company. The deal has been struck through Bruandwo, the joint venture between Woolworths and local businessman Bruce Mathieson. The stake has been acquired over the last month, at an average price of A$2.62 (US$1.86) per share. The largest chunk was snapped up yesterday [Thursday], reported Dow Jones.

ALH shares closed up 23 cents, or 8.4%, at a record $2.98 today [Friday], adding to a jump of 11% yesterday.