Appeal win buys Palmer time to bid for resort villas

WOULD you pay $125,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom villa in the heart of Coolum Beach with exclusive lake views and access to tennis courts and a golf course?

That's the amount Clive Palmer is prepared to pay to buy a President Club Tennis villa in his once luxury Palmer Coolum Resort.

Mr Palmer's company, QNA, won a Federal Court appeal on May 22, giving him time to try to buy out the owners of the timeshare villas at any price.

Before then, the Takeovers Panel had found "unacceptable circumstances" in the company's attempts to buy out owners.

It ordered the minimum purchase price Mr Palmer or his associated companies could offer for a quarter share in a villa was $65,013 ($260,052 for the villa).

But the May 22 decision to return the matter to the panel for consideration has given Mr Palmer a unique opportunity.

He has a timeframe to try and achieve what he could not do since mid 2012 - get the President Club owners out of his resort.

Palmer Coolum Resort general manager Simon Stodart has sent contracts to the 300-plus villa owners to buy out their share in a Tennis Villa at $31,250 each, with more offered for villas in the Lakeside Golf area.

The contracts come with catches, including only $1526 to be paid on signing, and the rest "within 15 months".

Owners would also need to vote to put Mr Palmer's nominee in charge of winding up the company which holds millions in cash and a lease over all villas until at least 2068.

The contracts are also conditional on them voting on other resolutions.

For owners who bought "off the plan" in the late 1980s, the going price for a quarter share in a villa was about $90,000 ($370,000 total).

The highest price paid for a quarter share in a Golf Villa was $110,000.

Villa owners, many of whom are doctors, lawyers and high-profile people, have never been shy of taking on Mr Palmer.

Despite being locked out of their timeshare, and having the electricity and water to their homes cut off, they have continued to fight for their right to use their properties.

One owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said the contract had been sent back with "not interested" written on it in big letters.

Mr Palmer's media advisor has not returned the Daily's requests for information.



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