DEVELOPER Craig Gore has stepped down as chief executive of International Marina Development and Management (IMDM) as the company restructures and distances itself from any proposed joint venture with the embattled AGG.
IMDM is working its way through what it calls ‘disengaging’ from Gore’s company AGG, which reportedly owes City Pacific $145 million. Gore has since launched class action against the property financier which is under strain to repay its own CBA debt of around $200 million.
The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board has approved the restructuring of IMDM in the wake of Atkinson Gore companies being placed in receivership. The Lord Ashcroft-funded Mayfair Limited is now in the process of acquiring control over IMDM.
IMDM was formed in 2008 with a view to facilitating a joint venture between certain of the Atkinson Gore entities and the London-based Mayfair group to acquire commercial and marina property on the eastern seaboard. The Mayfair group and related entities have extensive interests worldwide across the tourism, hospitality, marketing, hospital and development sectors.
IMDM had facilitated and financed a number of major acquisitions including the Hope Harbour Marina on the Gold Coast’s North Shore and the Breakwater Marina in Townsville. A $20.3 million deal between the company and City Pacific for another marina development in Townsville failed to eventuate.
Gore’s replacement, chairman Shane Stone says IMDM will continue to ‘identify and consider other investment opportunities’ around Australia but would not speculate on potential targets.
“We’re a bit contrary to what people would be saying,” says Stone, confident of doubling IMDM’s commercial assets in the next 12 months.
“While there are difficult times, it is not going to remain this way forever. There are many good projects out there and we are optimistic. People should bear in mind that all of this will bounce back. The current prism of pessimism is not required.
“The fundamentals of the Australian economy remain sound, notwithstanding current challenges and Queensland remains a first class investment destination. Our UK parent shares our assessment and optimism about Queensland.”
Stone acknowledges the role played by Gore in building the IMDM business.
“We feel a great deal of empathy for Craig and I must stress that he wasn’t asked to resign or was pushed. It was his own decision and fellas like Craig Gore bounce back. We wish him well for the future and once he overcomes his current difficulties would warmly welcome the opportunity to re-engage his talent and enthusiasm,” says Stone.
The team at IMDM also includes corporate counsel Michael Adamson and Graham Lello from Mayfair Limited in London. Lello relocated to Australia in January to take up the position of CFO. Andrew Wilson will also be appointed to the IMDM Board.
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