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Versace hotel to sell for $68.5 million

Sunland Group has entered into a deal to sell the Palazzo Versace Hotel on the Gold Coast to private investors for $68.5 million.

Having flagged the sale in April, it was initially priced closer to $80 million.

While not disclosing any names, the sale is conditional on approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the House of Versace, which still owns the brand name.

Real estate agents have said two Chinese-based investors are the likely buyers.

Sunland Group, built and opened he Palazzo Versace 12 years ago but says it wants to focus on its core residential and commercial properties and leave the hotel to another operator.

Of the funds generated, Sunland will use $27.4 million to repay the hotel’s borrowings.

Having opened amid much fanfare in September 2000 with James Packer as a guest, the Palazzo Versace Hotel is still seen as the main five-star hotel on the Gold Coast.

In fact Mr Packer was so enamoured that he bought a 13.5 per cent stake in Sunland and became a board member. He sold out and resigned from the group in 2009.

Palazzo Versace was one of the first fashion-branded five star hotels in the world and triggered an array of similar properties, such as the Bulgari hotel in Bali, amongst many others.

It was the brainchild of Sunland’s chairman Soheil Abedian and the late fashion designer Gianni Versace.

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