The Nelson Suburban Club is looking to sell its land and buildings, but not on the open market – it wants to sell it to its members.
The club is grappling with a $2.7 million loan that was taken out to extend its premises in 2005. Club treasurer Ben Douglas says the club is doing well with membership up and turnover in good shape, but it’s spending any profits on paying interest repayments.
“It’s still a good business, it just has too much debt,” says Ben.
One way the club is hoping to pay down that debt is by creating a new company which will own the land and buildings and selling shares in that company to members at $500 a share.
Ben says he’d be delighted if they were able to raise the entire $3 million from the scheme, but admits that even if they were only able to raise half that amount it would mean the club could continue to own the remaining shares in the company. A letter has been sent to the club’s 4000 members outlining the plan.
Ben says if the plan doesn’t work the club will have to look at selling it on the open market as the current debt is stifling it.
He says the Finance and Management Committee have made it clear to all members that there is no intention of imposing the proposal on any member who may not wish to take advantage of the opportunity. “It’s part of this committee’s role to do all we can to secure the financial future of the club, and we believe this is a positive step forward.”
Finance and Management executive committee member and long-term club member, Pam Coltman, hopes that enough members will recognise this as an ideal opportunity to become key stakeholders in their own club’s premises.
“If we find ourselves in a situation where we don’t have enough members who wish to invest in the proposed company, the property will be listed for sale on the open market.
“That said, it’s important to remember that land and buildings do not make a club, the members do, and even if this proposal doesn’t go ahead, the Nelson Suburban Club will continue, albeit possibly on another site.”
Progress of the proposal is tabled for discussion at the Nelson Suburban Club Inc. AGM, which takes place on November 15 at the Nelson Suburban Club.