Published 24 August 2009
The developer of the Momi Bay resort in Fiji, Matapo Ltd, has failed to stop an auction of the property this Tuesday.
Matapo sought a court injunction in Fiji to stop the auction, but was turned down on Friday.
The resort was taken to auction initially in July, when Matapo got an interim injunction, and the auction by Bayleys Real Estate was deferred to this Wednesday, 25 August. It will be conducted at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa on Natadola Beach.
The Fiji National Provident Fund, owed $60 million, appointed Bayleys to handle the sale of the first stage of the development – over 350 residential sites and a partially completed 9-hole golfcourse, clubhouse & hotel complex. New Zealand financier Bridgecorp Ltd, owed $107 million at the time of its receivership in July 2007, is a subordinated lender, and both Bridgecorp & the development company stand to lose everything in the property’s sale.
Matapo proposed a $US300 million Momi Bay Resort near Nadi.
Bridgecorp – in receivership in July 2007 – openly lent to related parties, one of which was UFB Pacific Ltd (Urwin Fernandez Bridgecorp, renamed Real Estate Assets Ltd) of Australia. Gary Urwin & John Fernandez owned Urwin Fernandez Pty Ltd, which was a 25.3% shareholder in Bridgecorp Holdings Ltd, and Mr Urwin is a director of Bridgecorp Holdings. UFB owns Matapo Ltd, developer of the Momi Bay Resort, and was owed $47.7 million by buyers of Momi Bay sections at the end of the December 2006 half-year.
The Fiji military staged a coup on 5 December 2006, and Bridgecorp subsequently began to turn the Momi Bay receivable into a loan.
Fiji Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry said on the Government website in May 2007 problems at the Momi Bay Resort began during ousted Prime Minster Laisenia Qarase’s time: “The project got into trouble around October last year (2006), with contractors pulling out because they were not being paid on time by the developers,” he said.
19 August 2009: Oceania’s Denarau parcel goes to tender
28 July 2009: Momi Resort auction rescheduled
29 June 2009: Fijian fund takes Momi resort to auction
26 April 2009: Likely Bridgecorp return from NZ assets goes under 10c
3 July 2007: Receivers at Bridgecorp
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Attribution: Bayleys on auction, undisclosed sources on injunction, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.