The son of one of China’s richest men “Jeremy” Jianmin Song has ramped up his push to buy Australian assets with the $18.75 million purchase of the Hawkesbury River retreat of billionaire Brett Blundy, Sweven.
Song’s purchase is the latest in almost $350 million worth of acquisitions by the privately held multinational conglomerate Nanshan Group in less than two years, including a 20 per cent stake in the airline Virgin Australia.
The bullish sale of the 57-hectare property was by Blundy, a retail billionaire and founder of Bras N Things, after a four-year sales campaign given his move to Singapore.
Details on the deal have been subject to strict confidentiality orders, but has already excited Cattai locals, many of whom are familiar with the Nanshan Group thanks to its ownership of the Riverside Oaks Golf Resort set next door to Blundy’s Sweven.
Nanshan’s chairman Song was appointed to the top job in 2011, replacing his father, billionaire Song Zuowen, who is ranked by Forbes as one of China’s richest men.
Jeremy Song has been an Australian resident since 2010, and lives in the $4.5 million penthouse he bought in Wharf 8 at Pyrmont in 2011.
The company ‘s interest in Australian assets has upped considerably in recent years. In late 2015 it paid $85 million for the Pullman Hotel near Sydney Airport.
In June last year, Air New Zealand sold its 20 per cent stake in Virgin Australia for $233 million to Nanshan, and a few months later the family added the Macquarie Lighthouse’s keeper’s cottage in Vaucluse for $7.5 million.
Records show Jeremy Song also owns a 320-hectare property at Jindabyne, and two Vaucluse residences in his name, one on Wentworth Road bought in 2009 for $6,888,000, and another on Hopetoun Avenue known as St Malo he bought as a 28-year-old in 2002 for $5 million.
The Sweven property is expected to be redeveloped from a private retreat into a luxury resort with bungalows having access to the company’s Riverside Oaks Golfcourse.
The purchase comes at what could be an awkward time for Song Zuowen given exchange on the deal preceded by a just few days the Chinese government decision last week to crack down on capital outflows by restricting investment in overseas property development.
Despite no disclosure on the sale price and no comment from agents Neville Rava, of Cutcliffe Property, and Michael Rava, of The Agency, Domain’s PriceFinder put the sale result at $18.75 million.
At that level the sale sets a Hawkesbury River record for a residential sale by an extra $10 million, smashing the $7.3 million high for the Cattai area.
The previous record was set a year ago when a property called Ukamurra was sold to a company headed up by a syndicate of Chinese buyers.
That property was owned by Gendy and Hugh Parry-Okeden, nephew of reclusive heiress and Australia’s richest person on last year’s Forbes Rich List, Blair Parry-Okeden.
The story Mr Bra’s home the latest in $350m spending spree by Chinese buyer first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.
By Lucy Macken