Wealthy Queensland hotel and pub owner Robert Fraser-Scott has become the latest victim of poor conditions in the Queensland property sector as several of his assets have been placed under the control of receivers.
The move comes as a number of Queensland property developers have complained of plummeting values and development conditions.
The 18 assets taken into receivership reportedly include the Lost City Tavern in Coomera, the Boathouse Tavern and the Warehouse Tavern, along with several shopping centres. Some of the properties were developed and fit-out by the Fraser-Scott family.
Fraser-Scott, whose family’s wealth was estimated at more than $150 million on a Queensland rich list in 2010, built his fortune through building and development. Some of his ventures have included a training organisation and a childcare centre.
"The fundamentals of the businesses have not changed and our gearing has never been aggressive or excessive; what has changed is the bank's attitude to the market and to its property book," he told GoldCoast.com.au.
He explains the business has been caught by falling property values, and although he has attempted to slash his debt – estimated to be $60 million – the developer’s bank has not been satisfied.
"We hope it will be business as usual for each business within a day or two and that staff and creditors will receive entitlements,” he said.
Fraser-Scott believes it was the loss of a dispute with Westfield over a bottleshop lease that caused the bank to move in.
Ernst & Young partner Justin Walsh was contacted by SmartCompany this morning, but no reply was available prior to publication.
Fraser-Scott has been selling assets over the past year in order to pay down debt, including millions from investment properties and childcare centre investments.
Fraser-Scott originally got into business as a teenager, selling jewellery to make ends meet after his mother died in a car accident.
Queensland hospitality assets have been suffering due to the high dollar, which has put a dampener on local tourism.