Receivers put DFO Canberra up for sale as Austexx troubles continue

The DFO outlet in Canberra has been put up for sale by receiver McGrath Nicol as fallout from Austexx and its financial troubles continue to ripple through the industry.

The centre was placed in receivership last month with the Canberra’s Direct Factory Outlet and Homemaker Hub now for sale, with McGrath Nicol receiving expressions of interest.

Janes Lang LaSalle is in charge of the sale process according to the Australian Financial Review.

The development comes after months of legal battles and complicated debt deals, after property developer Austexx was forced to sell off assets as it faced nearly $US1 billion in debt and a possible collapse in 2010.

McGrath Nicol was contacted by SmartCompany this morning but a reply was not available prior to publication.

The Canberra DFO and Homemaker outlets were built in 2008, contain more than 100 fashion tenants, 24 homemaker stores and more than 1,800 car spaces. It is understood that the centre continues to operate as usual.

“I would like to assure tenants, customers and centre management employees that our appointment allows DFO Canberra and Homemaker Hub Complex to continue to operate while we run an orderly sale campaign,” Shane O’Keeffe of McGrath Nicol told the AFR.

The fallout of Austexx’s debt problems is extensive and complicated.

In 2010 the company faced possible collapse but sold four properties to the CFS Retail Property Trust along with a stake in another property, DFO South Wharf.

The dispute includes a legal battle between former Austexx directors David Goldberg and David Wieland which also involves investor and former Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Graeme Samuel.

The Victorian Supreme Court ordered both Goldberg and Wieland to pay millions in unpaid interest to investors of the South Wharf DFO project. That development was placed in receivership with KordaMentha appointed last year.

Samuel won access to $5 million in funds held by his family trust last year – they were proceeds from the sale of DFO assets.

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