Family behind Oztrail success story lands $17m Qld property deal

Colmslie Central, 13 – 25 Dunhill Crescent, Morningside, settled for $16.85m.

The Queensland family that created the Oztrail camping business – before selling to the private equity firm behind the Lorna Jane brand – has had a further investment windfall, worth $16.85m.

The Whittaker family was three generations deep into its Brisbane-based Oztrail camping and outdoor business when approached to sell up just over four years ago (for a confidential sum). They’ve now also sold off an industrial property bought in the wake of that deal.

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The property spans 6,129sq m.

Three months after the Whittaker family sealed the Oztrail deal in January 2018, Roy Whittaker used his New Sky Investments company to pick up a freshly developed industrial site in Morningside. He paid land developer Balfour Irvine’s Dunhill Properties $4,010,798 for the 6,129sq m site which has now re-sold for $16.85m offmarket four years later.

A recent rental listing for the property by JLL and Cushman & Wakefield said it set “a new standard in corporate industrial tenancies” incorporating sustainable initiatives like electric car charging stations and solar to cut back costs. The corporate office accommodation also had data cabling installed and was NBN ready, the listing said.

Loads of room to manoeuvre.

The Whittakers were involved in a much bigger property deal six months after they sold Oztrail, when they agreed to a $35.5m deal to hand the company headquarters back to the original TradeCoast Central developer Bob Tucker. They had paid $10.45m six years earlier, according to CoreLogic records, with the site spanning 3.89ha in Eagle Farm.

The view from office accommodation.

The Oztrail purchase included former Telstra Young Businesswoman of the Year Vanessa Garrard (through her company SourceHub – in which Greencross founder Glen Richards was also an investor) and Odyssey Private Equity – which owned the Lorna Jane brand.

Andrew Whittaker – who was Oztrail GM at the time of the deal, stayed on with the Adventure Operations business created to oversee the Whittakers Oztrail business and Companion Brands which was bought off the McLaughlan family.