Kingfisher snaps up FIC assets
KINGFISHER Bay Resort's snapping up the “goods and chattels” of the broke Fraser Island Company as opposed to taking control of the remnants of the business only happened after administrator Julie Williams went to the market for offers.
Kingfisher general manager David Hay told the Chronicle the company made an offer to purchase FIC's assets only – “and that's what we did, in a professional and ethical manner”.
“I have no idea what anyone else offered or why our offer was accepted but the final result is we got goods and chattels that feed comfortably into our existing business and we have also offered five FIC staff from the 14 Ms Williams terminated, positions within our own company.
“All round it was a good deal, a worthwhile deal.”
Mr Hay emphasised Kingfisher had “definitely not purchased FIC as a going concern”.
“Our own contracted bus company, Tory, which is owned by a Hervey Bay family, does the Brisbane-Pialba-Urangan route.
“It does not go direct to River Heads. We do not bypass Hervey Bay.
“We promote Hervey Bay and encourage business here. We always have.
“We have been operating Kingfisher for 20 years.
“We have a $14 million pa payroll, a $2 million pa budget and we employ 300 people.
“We are very serious about maintaining a presence in this community.
“The impact of our business is significant in and to this community.
“But times are tough.
“Backpacker numbers are really disastrous right across the board.
“However we will survive and it will get better.
“Meanwhile media reports that the deal was worth millions is just a gross exaggeration.”
Mr Hay said the company would not be loading its rates after having set them for April 1 next year.
“We will continue to pay commissions in Hervey Bay. We're operating a business.”
He said there were more than 30 tour operators to Fraser Island, 10 companies offering tagalong tours and there were three bus companies.
“Now there are two.”