Former Morgan Stanley executive acquires Torquay golf resort

Former Morgan Stanley executive acquires Torquay golf resort

Jack Dahan, a former Morgan Stanley executive, purchases the Sand golf resort located on the Bass Strait coast south of Melbourne, Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, for  $12.8 million over half of what it changed hands four years ago.

The Sand resort, originally developed by Paddy Handbury, is spread over a 76-hectare resort and includes an 18-hole championship golf course designed by PGA Tour winner Stuart Appleby plus a 112-room upmarket hotel previously operated under Accor’s Peppers brand. It was bought in 2017 for about $23 million by Cloud Abacus Holdings and Odyns Holdings, who operated it through their Walden Cloud Group directed by Jun Zhou, Guoxin Zhou and Yang Sun.

The resort was put up for sale in late August, after being temporarily closed in the pandemic, by secured lender Smart Wealth after the Chinese companies that owned and operated it were placed in the hands of administrators from PKF in July. According to a report lodged with ASIC by PKF, the settlement occurred on the 10th of February for $12.8 million. Mr Dahan, director of several investments and advisory firms, including Fielding hills and Hennessey Capital Partners (a small family office) is the sole owners and director of the Resort. He was a vice-president at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management for 16 years. He is also the director of Kangaroo Island Links.

Colliers International selling agents Guy Wells, Gus Moors and Joseph Lin said it was their understanding the new owner planned to reopen the hotel in the short term, after its COVID-enforced closure. “The 18-hole golf course will continue to operate to satisfy local and tourist demand”.

Guy Wells said the resort attracted more than 120 enquiries during the expressions of interest campaign, leading to more than 25 offers. “The fact that this level of depth existed in the buyer pool in the middle of stage four lockdown for an asset that requires further capital expenditure is a pleasing reflection of the appetite from investors for quality assets.”

According to the administrators’ report, the Colliers sales campaign had secured a $14.5 million highest offer from Queensland-based Dunes Land Developments for both the property and business. The contract was rescinded after Dunes failed to settle on January 11 and again on January 25.

The report noted that another lender Bella Joll, which had paid out Smart Wealth’s $8.15 million debt in July, had in December been restrained via a court order from selling the Sands property to Mr Dahan’s company or “from taking any steps” to interfere with the sale to Dunes. On the 28th of January, Bella Joll took possession of the property by “cordoning off the premises and employing security guards to refuse access to the property”. It then entered into a licence agreement with Mr Dahan’s company to occupy the resort before settlement.


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