CLIVE Palmer’s bid to stage a hostile takeover of holiday houses at his Sunshine Coast resort has again spilled into the Federal Court, as unit owners play hide-and-seek with hotel security to protest the move.
The corporate watchdog’s Takeovers Panel was ordered by the Federal Court in September to reconsider its 2012 decision to stop the mining magnate and federal MP from buying about 80 timeshare villas at his Palmer Coolum Resort.
The panel is reinvestigating the buyout and has put in place interim orders on Mr Palmer’s companies associated with the resort, including that they be limited to 20 per cent voting rights in The President’s Club, which operates the timeshares.
Lawyers for Mr Palmer have asked the Federal Court to set aside the interim orders, which could pave the way for him to take advantage of a 41 per cent share in the club.
It comes as unit owners continue to stage a sit-in at the resort, which has no running water or electricity.
Barrister Thomas Bradley QC, on behalf of Mr Palmer’s companies, argued the interim orders were onerous and made in error.
“There is no way that is maintaining the status quo,” Mr Bradley said.
But legal counsel for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Takeover Panel argued there was no error and the orders should stay in place.
The court was told “significant progress” had been made in the investigation, which comes after the panel previously decided there were “unacceptable circumstances” involved in the takeover bid.
Timeshare residents have been taking turns staging a “symbolic occupation protest” at the resort despite risks of being charged with trespassing.
Justice Andrew Greenwood will hand down his decision on Christmas Eve.
Posted on: December 22, 2015
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk