SOLOMON Islands National Provident Fund (NPF) has filed a case in the High Court to recover the $15 million loan it lent to Tavanipupu Island Resort.
This was after owners of the resort failed to repay the loan.
NPF’s deputy manager Mike Wate told the Solomon Star they are currently pursuing the recovery actions under the loan agreement to recover the $15 million loan through the sale of the resort.
“We had filed our application to the High Court for default on the repayment of interest that triggers us to call up the loan now rather than wait for two and half more years when the loan matures,” Mr Wate said.
He added the resort, located at Marau Sound, east Guadalcanal, has bookings till the end of the year.
“At the moment, Tavanipupu still manages and pays its own affairs, including staff.
“We only put in a finance manager to ensure no monies for the resort go astray. All costs are to the resort,’’Mr Wate said.
He also revealed that NPF received several investor enquiries but they are in no rush to sell because they would like to firstly explore how best they can take advantage of the situation.
“NPF are also working with the defaulting party to settle out of court, an option that will achieve our objective better.
“We’ll make a public announcement once that settlement agreement is completed, probably in a week,’’Mr Wate said.
NPF approved the $15 million loan in 2012 to allow owners of the resort to upgrade it ahead of the royal visit by Prince William and his wife Kate that year.
The royal couple spent their last night in the country on the resort.
News of the failure by Tavanipupu to repay its loan sparked outrage earlier this year, with members criticising the decision to approve the loan at the first place.
But NPF said there was nothing illegal about its decision to approve the loan, and that it was a well-secured loan.
Often referred to by international travel writers as a five-star private island, Tavanipu was owned by Island Holdings Limited with 104,208 shares and Lindley Holdings Pts Limited 10,801 respectively, totalled to 115,009 shares.
Its directors are Pamela Lorraine Kimberly and John Sullivan of Australia.
By DENVER NEWTER