The trustee of the property investment firm behind the redevelopment of Queensland’s Dunk Island has appointed receivers after it missed almost $3 million in repayments.
Mayfair 101, led by James Mawhinney, is best known for its heavily-publicised revitalisation of Dunk Island and buy-up of close to $200 million of property in Mission Beach in north Queensland.
The first sign of trouble for the group came in mid-March where it began to delay property settlements in the region as the “pandemic [forced] the group to adjust its forecasts according to the group’s liquidity profile and implement capital prudency plans to protect its investors”.
The group, which generates income from “wholesale” investors, including retirees, claimed to have more than 200 properties in the Mission Beach area under contract.
The promise that Mayfair will facilitate more than $1.6 billion of investment in the region now seems unlikely, after the Victorian Supreme Court appointed receivers Nicholas Giasoumi and Hamish MacKinnon of Dye & Co to Mayfair 101’s $86 million IPO Wealth fund and its various subsidiaries.
In an update to investors, Vasco Trustees said it had made a “number of attempts to contact” Mayfair 101 since the group failed to make two repayments totalling $3 million.
The group’s investor-facing brand, Mayfair Platinum, raised more than $100 million from investors within six months, using newspaper advertisements and instagram promotions to lure prospective investors.
In 2019, the investment group found itself in the cross-hairs of corporate watchdog ASIC after pitching its debenture products as having a similar risk profile to bank term deposits and carrying no default risk.
The federal court slapped temporary injunctions on two of Mayfair Platinum’s investor vehicles in April.
Despite the ban, Mayfair Platinum launched a fixed income property bond to fund its plan to “turn Mission Beach and Dunk Island into an Australian tourism mecca”. Entry into the investment started at $250,000.
In a statement published on Sunday, Mayfair 101 said that the appointment of receivers by Vasco was “premature”.
“Given the current economic conditions imposed by Covid-19, [the receivership] is one that is likely to result in the unfortunate and unnecessary destruction of value for investors in the IPO Wealth Fund.
“Despite contrary media reports, no attempts were made by Vasco to contact the group in the week leading up to the appointment of receivers.”