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Sarnia Estates investor offloads £3m. of debt

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SARNIA Estate Agents investor Quinten Hubbard and his companies have offloaded nearly £3m. of debt liabilities and a series of properties in deals that went through this week.

In 2014 Mr Hubbard pledged he would restore a former lifeboat that was a feature of Grande Havre Bay after he bought a house nearby. The lifeboat has not been seen in those waters since. (22408887)

As the estate agent’s situation unfolded and clients went public with fears for their money, Mr Hubbard initially said he did not know what was happening and pledged to give a detailed update, which has not happened.

One of the companies of which he is a sole director, Ricochet Group, signed off the document putting Sarnia into voluntary liquidation on 28 August.

Ricochet itself is listed for strike off with the company registry.

On the same day, Mr Hubbard and three of his development companies moved on six properties in four conveyances to Sancus Developments Ltd.

‘I’ve sold properties, but what’s wrong with that? It’s normal business deals. They’re just property sales. We’ll be making an announcement with Sancus next week about CI Tyres,’ Mr Hubbard said yesterday.

Sancus is a company which is a secured lender and when it lends money it has security over assets.

All of these deals were not for a normal fixed sum but for assuming sole liability for four separate bonds taken out with four different lenders between 2011 and 2016 totalling £2,905,000.

The most prominent development site is Ferndale in La Charroterie, adjacent to the former CI Tyres.

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In 2009, permission was given to demolish the house, redevelop existing flats at Grenwood and erect two residential blocks to provide 17 residential units and parking.

Steele Developments, which Mr Hubbard became sole director of in February 2009, has moved on a £1.425m. bond with Sancus (Guernsey) Ltd registered on 5 July 2016 and the Ferndale site to Sancus Developments.

Ferndale is said to have a market value of £850,000 in the conveyance.

Steele Developments is listed for strike off.

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Permission was given in September 2015 to demolish sheds at the former CI Tyres site and build 20 new apartments and three new dwellings.

Clearance work took place at the start of this year.

Two of the conveyances involve units at La Ville en Bas, also known as No. 47 Hauteville.

For Unit 1 and Unit 2 Mr Hubbard himself was the vendor to Sancus Developments.

In this case the bond was for £375,000 with The Royal Bank of Scotland International, trading as NatWest – that sum was registered on 8 February 2011.

The market value of the premises is listed in the conveyance at £430,000.

Both units were staff accommodation for The Mirror Bar on The Quay.

Mirror Bar has also been shut.

‘We’ve closed some businesses down. If they don’t work we close them down,’ Mr Hubbard said.

Unit 3 has been sold by HPH Guernsey Ltd, another company listed for strike off and of which Mr Hubbard has been sole director since February 2011.

The bond of £230,000 with Guernsey Home Loans Ltd was registered on 11 August 2011.

The conveyance gives the market value of the premises at £275,000.

Two more units have also been sold, nine and 10 at Val Fleury, Hauteville.

Both are part of a modern development of houses.

In this deal, MKZ Property Ltd was the vendor.

Mr Hubbard has been sole director of this company since March 2015.

The bond was for £875,000 with Investec Bank (Channel Islands) Ltd and registered on 9 April 2015.

The market value of the premises is listed at £1m.

MKZ, HPH and Steele Developments are all registered to 37 High Street, the same address that Sarnia vacated suddenly on 25 July.

In 2009 Mr Hubbard and his business partner Ben Steele were reportedly interested in buying Southampton Football Club, a deal that never went through.

In July 2014, Mr Hubbard pledged he would restore the former lifeboat that was a feature of Grande Havre Bay after he bought a house nearby that overlooks it.

The lifeboat has not been seen in those waters since.

In January 2015, Sarnia Estate Agents and property developer Qube, of which Mr Hubbard was managing director, joined forces to create a ‘full-service property’ agent.

A voluntary strike-off application for Qube was listed on 27 December 2017.

It too is registered at 37, High Street.

Mr Hubbard’s Ricochet Group faced petty debt action from printers Colour Monster in November last year, which was settled out of court.

It followed the closure of GSY Life and GSY Property magazines.

Invoices for the printing work had been paid by Ricochet.

GSY Media staff were told in October 2017 that it was closing.

Mr Hubbard was the sole director at the time.

GSY Media is also now listed for strike off.

Sancus declined to comment.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
author

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