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Mayfair 101 insists revamp to continue on snatched island

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Mayfair 101 Group has said it will push ahead with its Mission Beach and Dunk Island redevelopments as it aims to line up funding, after the previous owners of the island, the family of Linc Energy founder Peter Bond, repossessed it.

Media reports on Tuesday stated Dunk Island in north Queensland had been reclaimed by the Bond family, after Mayfair missed repayments. The island reportedly sold to Mayfair less than a year prior for around $30 million.

However the investment group on Wednesday said it is “well progressed” with local and overseas institutional financiers who are currently undertaking due diligence on the Mission Beach and Dunk Island redevelopment project.

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Mayfair 101 said it expects to complete the final stages of its refinance next month, which supposedly would enable it to pay out the finance on Dunk Island provided by the Bond family in the required timeframe and to refinance its mainland property financier Napla. 

Mayfair 101 Group managing director James Mawhinney commented the company is “working with the right, credible financiers to deliver this project in full”.

“Due diligence processes are well [underway], including on-site visits that commenced last week,” Mr Mawhinney said. 

“These funders are sufficiently experienced to see through the noise and see the value in the opportunity to support the project. We are going through formalities now to get this finalised in line with their investment mandates.”

Work has been suspended on the developments, but the company believes its Dunk Island Spit Bar will be operating by the end of the year.

The group added Mayfair Iconic Properties and Mayfair Tourism staff have been stationed full-time on Mission Beach, assisting with the due diligence processes.

In what Mayfair 101 described as a “massive overreach”, ASIC requested the Federal Court freeze the group’s assets and bar Mr Mawhinney from leaving the country last week. On Friday, Mr Mawhinney lashed out at the corporate regulator for seeking court orders without giving prior notice.

The regulator commenced proceedings against the group in April for misleading or deceptive advertising. Mayfair at the time said it would “vigorously defend” the proceedings, fearing its Mission Beach and Dunk Island project could be disrupted by the case. 

The Federal Court then restrained Mayfair 101 and former brand Mayfair Platinum from promoting debenture products and using certain phrases in their advertising, until further order.

ASIC has now appointed Grant Thornton as a provisional liquidator to Mayfair subsidiary M101 Nominees, to protect the group’s secured debenture holders. 

“We have already proactively reached out to Grant Thornton and advised that we will be putting forward a formal proposal for the return of the company to the group in line with the finalisation of our refinancing activities,” Mr Mawhinney said. 

“Any proposal must have the support of Grant Thornton to proceed.”

He added the return of the company to Mayfair would give the best outcome for investors and other stakeholders in the success of the Dunk Island project. 

“It is the country’s interest that this project proceeds given the increasing need for employment and economic wealth,” Mr Mawhinney said.

In June, the group had placed its IPO Wealth Holdings subsidiary into voluntary administration, after trustee Vasco appointed receivers to the IPO Wealth Fund, after it missed repayments totalling $3 million.

Mayfair 101 also was forced to drop the “Mayfair Platinum” brand in June, following a legal battle with Platinum Investment Management.

 

Mayfair 101 insists revamp to continue on snatched island
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Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth. 

Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio. 

You can contact her on [email protected].

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