Published 19 August 2009
A 263ha Fijian parcel known as Denarau Land South has been taken to the market through an international tender on behalf of first mortgagee Strategic Finance Ltd. The tender closes on Friday 11 September.
The undeveloped landholding, about the same size as the existing Denarau Island resort area, is owned by Oceania International Ltd (John Davis, Albany; & Terence O’Halloran, Remuera).
Strategic chief executive Kerry Finnigan said the land had development consents but a lot of work was required on it. For Strategic, under a 5-year moratorium since December 2008, “the process is about repayment. You’re not sitting there for an inordinate amount of time waiting for people to repay you.
“The borrower in this case has made little effort to refinance or sell it.
“It’s a good asset. It’s not the best time for Fiji because of the political instability, but this is a longer play.
“If we had the luxury of waiting there’s no doubt we’d see the value come back across the whole book. But we don’t have that luxury.”
Nevertheless, he said, it wasn’t a case of sell at any price: “If the process doesn’t do what we want we won’t sell.”
Oceania’s directors were in court at the end of last year with a $5.3 million summary judgment against them based on their guarantees of the company debt to Strategic. Back in court in July, they failed to have that judgment set aside and Strategic issued bankruptcy notices.
Bayleys Real Estate Fiji managing director & partner Philip Toogood said today the holding was one of the most significant opportunities his company had taken to the market in some time. “The approximately 650a (263ha) property has a mix of crown & native lease tenure and enjoys some 2400m of beachfront, which is a continuation of the beach in front of the Sheraton Fiji, Radisson & Wyndham Resorts on Denarau Island.
“Clearly Denarau is the most successful resort & residential project in Fiji and this opportunity is one which the international market will recognise as being a natural extension to an already proven destination, and the potential tourism & related residential development opportunities it presents are exceptional.”
Mr Toogood said virtually all interest in this site so far had been from Australia, compared to a very international spread of interest in the part-developed Momi resort, now due for a rescheduled auction on Tuesday 25 August after the Fiji National Provident Fund, as first mortgagee, asked Bayleys to market it. New Zealand financier Bridgecorp Ltd, owed $107 million at the time of its receivership in July 2007, is a subordinated lender on Momi.
28 July 2009: Momi Resort auction rescheduled
29 June 2009: Fijian fund takes Momi resort to auction
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Attribution: Company statement, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report