Five contenders in the great race to buy pristine GKI island
FIVE bidders, including two from China, are eyeing off tourist icon Great Keppel Island resort in a race to secure ownership honours.
An international marketing campaign run by Knight Frank and JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group received a "considerable number" of expressions of interest to buy the idyllic island before the June 15 deadline.
The winning bidder will own a 162-hectare portion of pristine Great Keppel Island with an approved eco-tourist resort development featuring a beach-front hotel, 285 villas, 300 apartments, marina, retail village and commercial airstrip.
Knight Frank principal Pat O'Driscoll revealed that the successful campaign to sell the resort had reached the point where resort seller Tower Holdings had spent the past week-and-a-half considering applications from the five short-listed candidates.
Due to confidentiality, the identities of the potential buyers are not able to be revealed, but the locations of the groups who have submitted include London, the US, two from China, and one from Australia.
Mr O'Driscoll said the owners, who were very motivated to sell, were "very content" with the strong response they had received.
"We're at that point now where there are five expressions of interest offers on the table that we are in discussions with and we have meetings over the next week with the owners to explore each and every one of those to get the best outcome for the owner."
Without giving specific dollar values, Mr O'Driscoll said they were very happy with the strength of the financial offers on the table before mapping out the next stages of the purchasing process.
"We are honing down to get to the best position, which will then result in us going into exclusive dealings with one of those expressions, then through to contract and the due diligence period," he said.
During the due diligence phase, Mr O'Driscoll said the buyer drills down to absorb, understand and quantify the enormous amount of information relating to the sale.
"The buyer would need a depth of resources to continue on with all of the approvals that have been put in place," he said.
Due to the distances involved and time-zone constraints, he estimated it would take some time to narrow down the field to a winning buyer but the expectation was to have that buyer at contract within the next four to six weeks.
Mr O'Driscoll acknowledged the Queensland Government's $25m commitment to connect GKI with power and water, saying it played a positive role in attracting prospective buyers during their marketing campaign.