For­mer Gold Coast Bul­letin site bought by multi-mil­lion­aire Tony Quinn, the man be­hind the VIP Pet­food suc­cess - but he’s not sure of plans for the site yet

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - ALIS­TER THOM­SON alis­ter.thom­[email protected]

COLOUR­FUL Scots­man Tony Quinn has bought Re­tail Food Group’s ill-fated global head­quar­ters site in Molen­d­i­nar for $6.5 mil­lion.

Mr Quinn, who has had con­sid­er­able suc­cess in busi­ness, sell­ing VIP Pet­foods for $410 mil­lion and con­fec­tionary maker Dar­rell Lea for $200 mil­lion, set­tled the trans­ac­tion this week.

He has not set­tled on plans for the site, but the of­fice build­ings will be de­mol­ished to make way for new build­ings, pos­si­bly a stor­age fa­cil­ity.

“Ev­ery­thing is a pos­si­bil­ity to be quite hon­est,” he said.

Mr Quinn said the fun­da­men­tals of the site were sound, with a large 2.4ha land­hold­ing, in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion close to Surfers Par­adise.

“I didn’t have a mas­sive team of peo­ple work­ing on the due dili­gence or any­thing to be per­fectly hon­est,” he said. “I just thought, well that’s gonna be a good buy and … there’s a short­age of land on the Gold Coast.

“If you are not in a hurry, I don’t think it’s a bad buy. We will come up with some­thing be­fore Christ­mas.”

He said the his­tory of the site, which formerly housed Gold Coast Pub­li­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the Gold Coast Bul­letin, with its print­ing press, was also an at­trac­tion.

“It has some weird at­trac­tion, be­cause of its his­tory,” he said.

“I was in­side the print­ing hall and there were still rem­nants there. I just thought, what a cool thing. I won­der how many sto­ries have gone through those walls? There have mur­ders, mar­riages, de­vel­op­ments, all sorts of sto­ries went through there.”

The $6.5-mil­lion sale price in­cludes con­sid­er­a­tion for the trans­fer of the lease for 385 South­port-Nerang Rd, which is State Gov­ern­ment land, and the pur­chase of the ti­tle for 4 In­dus­trial Ave.

Mr Quinn said he was con­fi­dent he could con­vert the lease to a free­hold ti­tle.

Re­tail Food Group ac­quired the prop­er­ties in 2015 to cen­tralise its op­er­a­tions and en­able room for fur­ther growth. The site, which spans 24,000sq m was to house mul­ti­ple of­fices, ware­hous­ing in­fra­struc­ture, man­u­fac­tur­ing pur­suits, load­ing docks, ac­cess points and park­ing for more than 200 ve­hi­cles for RFG.

RFG im­proved the prop­erty by re­mov­ing and clean­ing up the main build­ing. How­ever, since De­cem­ber last year the com­pany’s share price has plunged in the wake of crit­i­cism over its treat­ment of fi­nan­cially stressed fran­chisees.

CBRE’s David Corke and Luke Brechin put the two Molen­d­i­nar prop­er­ties to an ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est cam­paign that closed on Au­gust 28.

Ex-RFG man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­dre Nell at the for­mer Gold Coast Bul­letin site that com­pany has now sold.

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