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3 March 2015

Treasurer orders foreign investor to sell illegally purchased $39 million Sydney mansion

Today I have made an order under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) for Golden Fast Foods Pty Ltd (Golden Fast Foods), to divest the established residential property at 63-67 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, in Sydney.

The house - known as 'Villa del Mare' – was purchased for $39 million in November 2014.

The property was bought illegally by Golden Fast Foods, which is ultimately owned by Evergrande Real Estate Group, a large company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, via a string of shelf companies including in Australia, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

Under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act (1975) foreign investors must notify the Treasurer through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before purchasing residential real estate.

Golden Fast Foods is a foreign-owned company which failed to notify FIRB of its intended purchase.

Under Australia’s foreign investment policy, foreign investment should increase Australia’s housing stock. Non-resident foreign nationals cannot buy established dwellings as homes or investments.

I made this order following advice from the Australian Government Solicitor that the purchase breached the Act. Under the Divestment Order I have issued today, the company now has 90 days to dispose of the property or the matter may be referred to the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions.

We welcome all foreign investment that is not contrary to our national interest.

Today’s action follows the announcement I made last week in relation to strengthening the enforcement of existing regulations on foreign investment in residential real estate.