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Billionaire Oatley family holds onto Hamilton Island

The sale of Hamilton Island has been halted after a strategic review by UBS.

The billionaire Oatley family will now maintain ownership of the Queensland property, which it had expected to offload for around $1 billion.

The family failed to find a buyer for the property after listing it for sale in September.

Hamilton Island chief executive Pete Brulisauer told The Australian that the family would retain the island following the review.

“The strategic review process enabled our team to review and define the full potential for Hamilton Island,” Brulisauer told the newspaper.

“The company is now focused on “continuing to enhance Hamilton Island’s reputation as one of Australia’s most iconic holiday destinations.”

The island has been part of the family's assets for 20 years and was one of patriarch, winemaker and sailor Bob Oatley’s prized possessions.

He purchased the island for about $200 million in 2003.

When he passed seven years ago, he handed the reins to family members.

The family is known for its multiple wins at the Sydney to Hobart yacht race with its supermaxi Wild Oats.

Realtors warned the family that a sale of this magnitude could take at least a year and it would attract just a small pool of buyers.

The island is now part of Balmoral Australia, the Oatley’s family office, run by

Sandy Oatley. Siblings Ian and Rosalind sit on the board alongside ex-Virgin chief John Borghetti, former Deutsche Bank CEO John Macfarlane and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis.

Management has invested more than $450 million upgrading the tourism facilities, including building Qualia – one of Australia’s most exclusive resorts.



Jonathan Jackson, 28th November 2023