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Chinese Investors Snap Up South Molle Island

By Mark Beale

One of the Whitsundays iconic islands has changed hands.

South Molle Island Resort has been bought by China Capital Investment Group, according to national media reports.

JJL Hotels & Hospitality Group’s Peter Harper, the island’s selling agent, confirmed the sale to “a foreign company with existing interests in the region” but would not be drawn on the specifics.

China Capital Investment Group also own nearby Daydream Island.

Mr Harper also said the island would undergo “a large scale redevelopment” under the new owners.

“The investment…follows a number of sales that have taken place across the Whitsundays in the past five years,” he said.

“It shows continued confidence in the region.

“Once complete, the Whitsundays will be back to one of the tourism gems.”

Mr Harper was unable to confirm the final ticket price, however it is understood that during the marketing campaign agents were quoting a price target of near $30m.

CCIG bought Daydream Island for a similar figure in early 2015, down from the initial asking price of around $60m.

South Molle Island was put up for sale by long-time owner and tourism identity Craig Ross in April, with national media reports suggesting a number of unsolicited approaches by investors and developers had prompted the move.

With the sale now concluded, the whole process from the start of the procedure to the exchange of contracts has taken less than two months, Mr Harper said.

Included in the sale is around 27ha of leasehold land, featuring 12ha of developable beach front land.

The island is currently home to a 188-room resort, however there is the potential for this to increase to 1300 rooms, subject to planning approval.

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