Sydney-based private lender Smart Wealth has appointed receivers to sell the 195-hectare The Sands Resort golf course and hotel in Torquay on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.
The resort, originally developed by Rupert Murdoch’s nephew Paddy Handbury, includes an 18-hole championship links golf course designed by PGA tour winner Stuart Appleby plus a 112-room hotel operated under Accor’s upmarket Peppers brand.
It was bought in 2017 for about $23 million by Cloud Abacus Holdings and Odyns Holdings, who operated it through their Walden Cloud Group directed by Jun Zhou, Guoxin Zhou and Yang Sun.
Paul Allan from PKF Melbourne was appointed voluntary administrator on July 13. It is understood the resort suffered a loss of business because of the impact of the coronavirus restrictions in Victoria.
Stephen Hathway from Helm Advisory was appointed receiver on July 22 by Smart Wealth Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based lender directed by Rico Wing Chau Chow, Dongli Wei and Bin Yang. The lender opened its doors only in February.
The mortgage over the resort was transferred to Smart Wealth in March this year from Mr Handbury’s Collinsville Finance.
It is understood receivers hope to secure a sale at about $15 million.
Colliers International’s Guy Wells, Gus Moors and Joseph Lin will oversee an expressions of interest campaign, which is due to run for four weeks from mid-August.
The Sands is being offered as a going concern on a “walk in, walk out” basis. Alongside the hotel and golf course, the resort includes a health club and pool, along with a restaurant and bar.
Mr Hathway said the resort presented a great investment opportunity, regardless of external market conditions.
“The Sands is situated in a location with timeless desirability, due to its proximity to world-class beaches [including Bells Beach] and the renowned Great Ocean Road,” he said.
Opened in 2007, the resort generates multiple income streams, including golf club memberships and green fees from public users, accommodation and conferencing, health club memberships andrevenue from food and beverage offerings.
Mr Lin said: “We have fielded a number of calls over the past week following our appointment and it seems that initial interest in the asset is promising.”
Mr Wells said: “With expectation of an extended international border closure, we anticipate that regional locations will continue to see domestic tourism increase, which will only benefit an asset like The Sands at Torquay, particularly when Melburnians are once again able to travel.”
He said a new owner could rebrand the hotel or refurbish and reposition it to capture the growth in domestic tourism over the medium term.