Economy

Founder of collapsed trucking group 1st Fleet heads to US as wife’s mansion goes up for sale

Andrew Sadauskas /

The five-bedroom contemporary Sydney Harbour home of Stephen Brown, the boss of the troubled 1st Fleet trucking company, and his wife, Corrine, comes with a $16 million asking price.

Featured in the latest June issue of Australian Home Beautiful magazine, apparently it’s a mix of the sophistication of Scandinavian design interiors blending with patio Balinese influences.

Of greater importance Property Observer can reveal Stephen Brown only owns 1/1,000th of the property – with wife Corrine holding the remaining 999/1,000 equity.

And a $9.2 million CBA mortgage was taken out in late March this year and officially secured against the Watson Bay property the day after the trucking company’s collapse earlier this month.

The Pacific Street property occupies a 1,062-square-metre block that was bought for $3.6 million in 1996 with the couple’s purchase showing the 1/1000-999/1000 equity split.

The Browns have been regular in refinancing their mortgage, with the latest mortgage being their eighth on the title since 1996.

The latest CBA mortgage replaced a BNY mortgage, which was taken out in June last year when transferred from Allco Managed Investments.

The Browns had previously lived next door, selling it for $2.9 million in 1996.

It’s listed through Michael Pallier of Raine & Horne Double Bay who is seeking about $16 million for the property which has been for sale since October 2010.

The house and its decor, along with photos their Maltese dog, Lily, feature in the latest issue of Australian Home Beautiful magazine (pictured above and below). It suggests the house’s two-year renovation was around 10 years ago to a design by Lesiuk Architects with interior decor by Fiona Goss.

The house comes with the largest private jetty in the Watsons Bay hamlet.

Brown’s company was ranked as one of the largest privately owned logistics supply chain solutions providers in Australia.

But earlier this month hundreds of workers arrived at their workplaces to find 1st Fleet’s depots in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia were locked.

The 24 year old company employed about 700 full-time workers, including 300 in NSW, and more than 300 contractors who drove trucks as owner-operators.

The weekend’s Sunday Telegraph reported Brown flew to the United States last week opting not to attend the first meeting of creditors last week, at which the appointment of administrator Antony de Vries of de Vries Tayeh was confirmed.

This article first appeared on Property Observer, Australia’s top site for property investment news and advice.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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