The first of the assets from the collapsed Bob Day home building empire, Homestead Homes, has been sold by liquidator McGrath Nicol to Queensland-based Metro Property Developments.
Metro Property is a national company which operates in five states and has a project pipeline valued at $2 billion-plus.
Homestead Homes is the South Australian business, which formed the centrepiece of Mr Day’s building operations and was the springboard from which he launched an ill-fated national expansion with the acquisition of other home building operations in other states, including Huxley Homes in NSW.
But the sale won’t bring any good news for the 180 unsecured creditors of Homestead Homes owed a combined $4.8 million. A spokesman for McGrath Nicol on Wednesday declined to comment on the sale price.
It is understood to have been minimal; McGrath Nicol’s lead liquidator Matthew Caddy told a creditors meeting on November 4 the firm’s total realisable assets were just $600,000.
Metro will take over the construction of about 70 homes in South Australia which were incomplete or due to start construction.
There had been eight separate parties which had made offers for the remnants of the Homestead Homes business, but Metro, which already has a small operation in South Australia and employs 33 people in the state, has been successful.
Metro has bought all contracted and non-contracted Homestead Homes client files and the related intellectual property.
It will work with insurance firm QBE Insurance on incomplete homes after the parent company Home Australia went into liquidation, and is also working with other Homestead Homes customers who had signed contracts but hadn’t started building yet.
Metro said on Wednesday that it was a top 10 builder in Australia and that local staff in Adelaide would be in contact with Homestead Homes customers.
Bob Day, who was elected as a Family First Senator in the Federal parliament in September, 2013, officially resigned on November 1 in the wake of the collapse of his Home Australia business and controversy over an alleged Constitutional breach concerning the lease on his electoral office in Adelaide.
It is causing potential headaches for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ability to pass legislation.
McGrath Nicol’s Mr Caddy told creditors of Homestead Homes on November 4 that he would closely examine a $1.5 million payment made to the Family First party and other donations and loans by Mr Day’s businesses in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
He also said that Homestead Homes had been a profitable entity prior to the collapse of the broader Home Australia entity, and he would be scrutinising inter-company transactions with other parts of the Home Australia operations.
Other operations run by Home Australia included Ashford Homes in Victoria.