Coega in R4m offer for hotel

Cindy Preller

NO DONE DEAL: A delighted Rita Casteleyn is congratulated by Aucor general manager Vincent Moss after she made the top bid for the unfinished Bluewater Bay hotel at an auction in October – but the offer has now been turned down. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

AN incomplete hotel may be bought by the Coega Development Corporation for R4-million after a R3.6-million offer made for it at an auction last October was not finalised.

Belgian couple Rita and Jimmy Casteleyn were the highest bidders for the Bluewater Bay hotel at the on-site auction.

But Aucor auction manager Vincent Moss said yesterday a better offer had been received from the CDC within the 14- to 21-day confirmation period before the Casteleyn’s offer was confirmed.

“After the better offer was made and the time period lapsed, we refunded the Casteleyns their deposit and auctioneer’s commission fee.

“Coega has paid a deposit and auctioneer’s commission fee for the offer of R4-million and negotiations are currently in progress.”

The Casteleyns, who own a holiday home in front of the hotel, bid at the auction because they considered the half-built hotel an “eyesore”.

Moss said negotiations over the CDC offer involved several technical issues, which could be the reason for the delays in finalising the sale.

“It is very often the case that higher offers are received after an auction.

“Sometimes investors prefer not to get all the publicity that goes along with an auction. In the case of Coega I believe the relevant people were out of town on the day of the auction,” Moss said.

The CDC was tight-lipped yesterday about their possible interest in the hotel. All CDC head of marketing and communications Ayanda Vilakazi said was that Coega “currently has not purchased the said property and is not the property owner”.

Liquidator Leyla Limbada, from PQ Naidoo Attorneys, confirmed the Casteleyns’ offer had lapsed and a higher offer from the CDC had been received. However, no sale had been concluded, Limbada said.

“The property sold on auction was subject to a confirmation period – that is a time period within which the liquidator may confirm the offer.

“After this period lapsed and the sale was not confirmed, it fell away.”

Limbada said “other offers are being considered”, but added: “Should none of the other offers be suitable or materialise, we may place the hotel on auction again.”

The October auction was held to recover funds for creditors of the liquidated Bluewater Bay Hotel Pty (Ltd), which had planned a R1-billion luxury development.