Mark Spillane’s Upsense Media Capital purchases Dunk Island
Upsense Media Capital co-founder Mark Spillane has confirmed that his private equity firm has purchased troubled Far North Queensland resort, Dunk Island.
Spillane, who has promoted concerts in Australia and produced television shows like Bondi Ink, is said to have spent between $20 – $ 25 million on the Mission Beach island.
Dunk, which is one of just few freehold islands on the Great Barrier Reef, is home to an airstrip, 135 hectares of land, once boasted a 4.5-star resort with 160 rooms and a nine-hole golf course.
However, the popular holiday destination has been left in a dilapidated state since Cyclone Yasi swept through the region in 2011, and has changed ownership twice before this latest acquisition.
Dunk was initially purchased by Linc Energy CEO Peter Bond in the wake of the cyclone, who later sold it off to James Mawhinnet’s Mayfair 101 for $31 million in 2019.
Despite plans to establish a $1.5 billion tourist haven, Mayfair 101 subsequently encountered a number of financial woes and were placed into liquidation, with Dunk ownership reverting back to Bond after Mawhinney’s firm failed to make repayments on the island.
Although Spillane has not yet revealed Upsense’s plans for the direction of Dunk, the Sydney-based entertainment fund was reportedly looking to enter the Australian live music sector through a series of strategic partnerships and equity investments.
Upsense Media Capital has been contacted for comment.