The Sando sold and saved from developers: former owner to seek damages against Bankwest

Iconic Sydney live music venue the Sandringham Hotel – better known as the Sando – has been sold after being in receivership since July with a debt to Bankwest of $3.6 million.

Receiver and Ferrier Hodgson partner Morgan Kelly said he was delighted with the result and said the new owner had indicated an intention to run the business as a live music venue.

Ferrier Hodgson said the sale price and the name of the purchaser is confidential but the Daily Telegraph reported Tim Northeast, owner of The Corner Hotel in Melbourne, purchased the Sando for between $2.6 million and $2.8 million, well below the required $3.6 million.

The 126-year-old hotel’s name will be changed to the Newtown Social Club, and it will become a “sister” club to the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne.

Tony Townsend, former owner of the Sando, told SmartCompany he only found out about the sale through social media.

“I contacted the liquidators and they had only just been informed by Ferrier Hodgson that the contract had been exchanged on Wednesday,” he says.

“I’m the major unsecured creditor as the previous owner and not to be told is a little bit disappointing to say the least.”

Townsend says he is yet to receive any sort of formal notification and so has no idea how much creditors, including himself, will get back.

“To find out that way was pretty upsetting to be honest,” he said.

Townsend claims the Sando was highly leveraged at around 65% when Bankwest (which was taken over by the Commonwealth Bank) called in its facility and gave him seven days to pay $3.2 million.

He says he will “certainly” be seeking damages against Bankwest once the sale process goes through.

“I have to sit tight and wait for the asset to be sold and I have to endure all of this and then look at our position as regards to damages,” he says.

This story continues on page 2. Please click below to continue reading.

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