Retirement villages in receivership as banks swoop
While Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust are not in receivership, the board expects to appoint administrators from PwC as early as today.
Suncorp appointed receivers from Ernst & Young to Prime Trust's retirement villages in Bundaberg, Mackay and Townsville on Friday afternoon.
This triggered a swag of further appointments, with Craig Shepard and Mark Korda of KordaMentha appointed to seven further villages, including properties in Buderim, Nambour, Noosa and Linfield.
However, Prime Trust chairman and former federal health minister Michael Wooldridge has slammed Suncorp's decision to call in the corporate undertakers, claiming the company was set to deliver on a rescue plan.
"The board was expecting to receive an offer that would have resulted in a return to all creditors, including unit holders. The actions of Suncorp have severely prejudiced that," Wooldridge said in a statement.
"Further, Suncorp's actions have implications for residents and unit holders and it is very unfortunate that they have chosen to take this unilateral step."
Wooldridge claimed he had "two serious parties interested in a price range well in excess of secured debt and we were working towards entering into a transaction to achieve that outcome."
Shares in Prime Trust have been suspended since early August, as the company tried to convince its financiers it could restructure its operations and deal with debts of about $275 million.
Receiver Craig Sheppard said the properties, which are currently managed by Lend Lease Primelife, would continue to operate as normal.
"One of our first tasks will be to complete an immediate review of the investment portfolio of properties with a view to seeking expressions of interest from buyers for some or all of the assets."