Steller goes into receivership

Singapore and Hong Kong based hedge fund OCP Asia has called in receivers McGrathNicol Restructuring to recover money from Melbourne developer Steller Group.

OCP Asia has lent approximately $120 million to the builder.

According to various reports, OCP Asia will support and perhaps even provide additional funding for some of the projects it controls, including at 514 Hampton Street, Hampton and in Richmond, at 314-320 Swan Street and 236 Coppin Street.

Recapitalisation, or selling off sites, is also an option.

McGrathNicol partners Keith Crawford, Matthew Caddy and Jason Preston are undertaking an urgent financial assessment of the company’s assets.

The Continental Hotel at 1-21 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento.

Founded in 2006, and with a construction pipeline valued at $4.2 billion at its peak, Steller Group was set up by Nicholas Smedley and Simon Pitard, whose high-profile recent split has been well publicised.

In May, it was confirmed the pair was dissolving its business partnership. Their company’s website was recently shut down.

Mr Smedley is the son of late Mayne chief executive, Peter Smedley. Simon Pitard’s wife, Skye Knowles, is the daughter of Russell Knowles, the founder of aged care business Arcare.

Mr Pitard has recently rebranded his building business to Goliath Construction Group.

In April we reported, exclusively, that an $80 million redevelopment of Sorrento’s Continental Hotel had been delayed, putting about 76 people out of work. This site was listed for sale last week via Colliers International with a price guide of about $25 million.

In recent weeks, other major sites controlled by Steller, including 60-62 Nightingale Street, Balaclava, 12 and 18 Craig Street, East Keilor, 461 Hampton Street, Hampton and 200 Wells Street, South Melbourne, have also been listed for sale.

Steller’s former headquarters, a building (pictured, top) owned by the Zagame family, in Caulfield East, is also being offered for lease. A Moorabbin warehouse the builder committed to rent last year is also being re-offered after the builder vacated without notice, and with 18 months left to run on a rental agreement.

Last month we reported that Steller sold a Highett office it planned to redevelop, for $3.4 million.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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