Receivers take control of property tycoon’s company
A COMPANY owned by Gold Coast property tycoon Greg Bell is in the hands of receivers, owing $23 million.
Hall Chadwick's Marcus Watters and David Ingram were appointed on Wednesday afternoon to developer Flinders Grange Pty Ltd, which counts Mr Bell as sole director and majority shareholder, and is undertaking a 137-lot estate called The Plateau near Ipswich.
The receivers were called in by Leda Finance Pty Ltd, which is owned by billionaire Bob Ell.
Mr Bell told the Bulletinthat the move to appoint receivers was to protect Mr Ell's investment as Flinders was subject to a wind up order lodged by OM Civil and to be heard in the Federal Court on Friday.
He said it would also prevent the possibility of a liquidator being appointed on Friday and taking control.
"The funder (Leda Finance) is protecting his position and myself," Mr Bell said.
"I have a really good relationship with Bob. There is money in the estate and there still is."
A Leda spokesman said: "A receiver has been appointed to protect our position as lender. As far as Leda is concerned it is business as usual and Greg continues to sell the property."
Mr Bell is the co-owner of Ray White Surfers Paradise, where he heads the commercial division. Brother Andrew Bell runs the residential side. Greg Bell said the estate had nothing to do with Ray White.
He said the dispute with Gaven-based OM Civil stemmed from cost overruns on civil works at the estate in 2019.
He alleged OM Civil overcharged developer Flinders Grange and Leda by $900,000, which they refuse to pay.
Mr Bell said the estate owed Mr Ell $18.2 million plus more than $3 million in headworks charges and interest for a total of $23 million.
Mr Bell said he expected all three stages of the estate to be sold and settled by June with Mr Ell recouping his investment in full.
Sales figures provided to the Bulletin show 12 lots have sold and settled in the first stage of The Plateau.
Another 97 lots are subject to put-and-call options to developers including Sandsky. Put-and-call options are the right of first refusal at a set price.
Mr Bell said he became involved as a director in Flinders in 2019 when the estate was already mortgagee in possession.
"I went out of my way to try to rescue it because some of these investors are best friends of ours," he said.
Mr Watters told the Bulletin they had been appointed by the first mortgagee Leda Finance.
"What has transpired is it was going to be wound up and put into liquidation potentially on Friday so the first mortgagee was concerned so hence they went in and appointed receivers before the winding up," Mr Watters said.
Federal Court records show OM Civil applied for a winding up order for Flinders Grange in December last year.
"It is day one, we are only a few hours in, but of course we will be going out there shortly and also we will have to have some discussions with the current developer (Flinders Grange) and, of course, we have to ascertain what stage they are at," Mr Watters said.
"I think stage one is complete and has been registered with council and the remaining lots are subject to put-and-call options."
The Plateau is being developed in three stages with lots from 320sq m to 978sq m and prices starting from $175,000.
Originally published as Receivers take control of property tycoon's company