In a landmark agreement that will secure the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks financial future, the Cronulla Sharks Leagues Club has agreed to terms with partner Capital Bluestone on approximately a $40 million arrangement which will see the club sell our remaining interest in the Woolooware Bay Town Centre mixed-use development.
This agreement represents the start of a new era for the Sharks with unprecedented security for the club which will enact the strategic re-investment of funds, and of which will be underpinned by a highly experienced investment committee.
Under the leadership of a robust management and board the agreement also enables us to focus on our core operation, which is to create a Club that makes you, your family and friends feel welcome, while providing a range of services and support to our local community, including the Sharks Football Club.
It’s important to note the valued input and decisions of our board in 2012 for originally brokering the partnership with Capital Bluestone.
That relationship continues, with the company committed to delivering a new revitalised Leagues Club for our members, which is expected to be complete in 2021.
Commenced as a joint venture between the Sharks Leagues Club and Capital Bluestone in 2011, the Woolooware Bay Town Centre project comprises four stages. The agreement signed yesterday means the Sharks receive approximately $40 million under the arrangement for consideration of our agreed exit from the joint venture.
This includes $9 million for the land value of the future retail centre, $12.2 million for consideration of the air space above the retail centre, as well as an estimated $18 million for the balance of stage 3 residential sales. This is in addition to the approximately $18 million in development profits we’ve already received to date as a result of the development of the residential stages completed.
We acknowledge and thank our partner Capital Bluestone for working towards this successful outcome for both parties and for its ongoing support for the Sharks, including as a sponsor for the Football Club since 2011, its investment in the Sharks Have Heart initiative and as a supporter of the different community initiatives of our Leagues Club.
This agreement enables us to de-risk rather than divorce ourselves from the development. We still remain an active and engaged stakeholder in the Woolooware Bay Town Centre development and this includes managing the interior fit out for our new Club premises, which are expected to be complete in 2021. Of the final amount payable to the Sharks for our remaining interest in the development, $12 million will be held in an escrow account for use specifically to deliver the Leagues Club refurbishment.
Our involvement in the development has been a major success for our Club. Now, by selling our remaining interest to focus on the future, we’ve been able to strengthen our immediate financial position, secure our future through a revitalised Club premises to provide a strong recurring income stream and, importantly, realise investment returns on our capital.
Stages 1 and 2 of the Woolooware Bay development together comprise approximately 400 residential apartments, which are all complete and sold. We received an up-front payment of $10 million in 2012 and an additional $485,000 in profit distribution in 2017 for stage 1, and then $7.41 million in profit for stage 2, paid in 2018.
An agreement was made by the joint venture partners to postpone the development of the shopping centre, initially earmarked for these earlier stages, to focus on the delivery of residential apartments to capitalise on the strong performing residential market at the time. This strategy resulted in the Sharks receiving approximately $36 million in total for the development of the residential component, instead of approximately $25 million forecast under the original schedule.
Stage 3 comprises 238 apartments and nine town homes and is under construction, with completion scheduled for late 2019. with the $18 million balance to be paid by the end of April 2019.
Stage 4 will comprise 255 apartments, a 71-key hotel, an 18,000sqm shopping centre and a revitalised Sharks Leagues Club. Depending on residential sales and retail leasing, this final stage is expected to commence in late 2019.
Capital Bluestone has gone above and beyond its brief on this project to help our Club when required. Its support over the years has been strong and varied, from providing the Club revenue advances to help in difficult times.
While what is outlined above puts the Club in a strong financial position, there is still considerable work to be done to turn around the current trading performance of the club, which at present we can concede isn’t where it needs to be. We will require time to start closing the gap to profitability, with the boost from the Capital Bluestone injection of funds assisting in the process but certainly not solving all the current issues.
It will be the priority of the Board to use the development proceeds responsibly while reshaping our business model to ensure continued profitability long into the future.
Just to ensure clear and transparent communication on the joint venture, we have outlined below the history of the project. This deal puts the Club on a strong and steady path forward for the first time in years.
It’s an exciting time for the Cronulla Sharks and we thank you for your ongoing support.
THE CRONULLA SHARKS LEAGUES CLUB & CAPITAL BLUESTONE JOINT VENTURE AT WOOLOOWARE BAY
• The Leagues Club Board identifies the potential for the sale and development of its land holdings at Woolooware Bay to secure the future of the Sharks.
• An expressions of interest process is undertaken to identify a development partner to work with the Sharks to develop its land holdings, which cover approximately 10 hectares.
• Bluestone Property Solutions (now Capital Bluestone) is appointed as the Club’s chosen development partner.
• Capital Bluestone advances Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club a $10 million share of future revenue to pay down Club’s existing debt.
• Initial approvals for the town centre lodged, the first residential apartments and plans for the retail centre are approved.
• Work gets underway and the first residential stages are launched with a strong response from the market.
• The first two residential stages are sold out, one of the stage three buildings is too.
• Construction progresses well. Stage 1 is completed and stage 2 gets underway.
• Woolworths and Dan Murphy’s agree to leases in the forthcoming retail centre.
• Construction continues as stage 2 is complete and stage 3 is commenced, however the residential market downturn means apartment sales in stage 3 slow.
• Construction of stage 3 to be complete and stage 4 to be launched. Stage 4 includes apartments as well as Bay Central shopping centre, a hotel, revitalised Sharks Leagues Club and more parking.
• Due to the staged timing of the first residential stages, total revenue from the residential component paid to the Sharks totals approximately $36 million instead of the $25 million initially forecast under the original schedule.
• This is separate to the additional $21.2 million, to be paid to the Sharks for consideration of the land and air space value for the lot on which the retail component will be developed.
• Of this, $12.2 million will be set aside and specifically used for the club’s new interior refurbishment.
• Estimated total return to the Sharks as a result of the development of the residential component:
Stage 1 - Upfront Payment: $10,000,000
Stage 1 - Profit distribution: $485,000
Stage 2 - Profit distribution: $7,410,000
Stage 3 - Profit distribution (forward advanced): $18,000,000
Total amount payable to Sharks for residential component: $35,895,000
Land and air space value (stage 4): $21.2 million
Total value of Sharks involvement in the development: $57,095,000
• The estimated end value of the revitalised Sharks Leagues Club is $5.15 million