Settlers Lifestyle retirement villages falls in to administration

Settlers Lifestyle retirement villages falls in to administration
Settlers Lifestyle retirement villages falls in to administration

Settlers Lifestyle, which runs a chain of retirement villages across Australia, has fallen into difficulty. It follows a default on its agreements with Investec Australia, which holds mortgages over its assets.

FTI Consulting's Joseph Hansell, Ian Frances and John Park have been appointed receivers and managers over The Settlers Group, which comprises Settlers Company, Settlers Operations and Forum Settlers.

Damien Hodgkinson of DEM Asia Group has been appointed voluntary administrator of The Settlers Group's 687 individual living units across Settlers venues in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.

Settlers Rockhampton (QLD), Settlers Forest Lake (QLD), Settlers Ridge Estate (NSW), Settlers Lakeside (WA) and Settlers Ridgewood Rise (WA) (“the Facilities”) are all under receivership.

"The receivers and managers have taken control of the Settlers Group and intend to conduct the operations of the facilities on a business as usual basis, while a sale campaign for the whole group is conducted on a going concern basis," FTI Consulting advised.

"The receivers and managers intend to work with all stakeholders and Settlers Group service providers to ensure that there is no interruption in the delivery of services to the facilities operated by the Settlers Group or the residents.

"The Receivers and Managers, intend to engage directly with the respective managers at each of the Facilities in order to explain the nature and the expected outcome of the appointment.

"At the same time, the Receivers and Managers will also be available to meet with the residents at each of the facilities in order to explain the nature of the processes that are usually undertaken by a Receiver and Manager as part of a sale.

FTI suggest it is too early to provide an estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete the receivership.

"Timing of this process is ultimately determined by how long it takes to bring the properties to market, conduct an orderly marketing campaign and then to assess and decide upon the final offers that have been submitted.

"Regardless, the receivers and managers will ensure that residents are kept informed during the sale process."

It is understood the receivers will look to sell all five retirement villages after Settlers Lifestyle was unable to fund mandatory buybacks.

There are new mandatory buy-back rules in Queensland, where the group operates two of its five retirement villages.

Hodgkinson noted recent changes to Queensland legislation require retirement village operators to buy back units from residents if they remain unsold for 18 months.

It triggered an insolvency event at Lifestyle’s Rockhampton village. 

Settlers Lifestyle is owned by a Singapore-domiciled offshore investment fund managed by global fund manager Forum Partners headed by Andrew Faulk.

Forum Partners acquired the five retirement communities from listed retirement village operator Ingenia in 2016 for $55 million.

 

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

Tags: 
Retirement Village Receivership

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