Merivale Hotels CEO Justin Hemmes has settled in NSW Supreme Court battle for control the Coogee Pavilion, with his landlord, investment banker David Kingston, a former Rothschild managing director.
Hemmes has spent around $12 million renovating the site, formerly Beach Palace, having agreed in March 2014 to buy the property from Kingston for $37 million. Merivale paid a $5 million deposit to buy the hotel in two years, as well as paying $1.5 million annually in rent as interest. Kingston was seeking to kick out the bar baron and keep the $5 million.
Earlier this year Kingston served Hemmes with a termination notice for being two days late paying the rent, and a fortnight later another termination notice was issued for “blatant and unauthorised works” on the rooftop bar, then a third in February for additional breaches.
Hemmes, whose Merivale Group owns dozens of Sydney hotels and restaurants, including Establishment, Ivy and Newport Arms hotels, launched the Supreme Court action, seeking an injunction against the eviction and for the right to buy the hotel to be reinstated.
Judge John Sackar announced the settlement at a Supreme Court hearing today. The sale to Merivale will proceed as part of the deal.
Hemmes said the undisclosed settlement was a “satisfactory outcome”.
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