Aware Super was another big superannuation player understood to have had an early look, while Macquarie Asset Management and Brookfield were among a long list of parties said to have been targeted.
GemLife was pitched with a portfolio of more than 11,000 land lease homes across 43 locations across Queensland, NSW and Victoria, which makes it about twice as big as the $1.86 billion ASX-listed Lifestyle Communities Ltd.
Sources said the Puljich family, from Queensland, were looking at offering a “material stake” to big Australian listed real estate groups and others circling over-50s estate owners, to realise some of their investment and help with succession planning.
The process wasn’t to everyone’s liking. The big property managers like special treatment, and some noses were put out of joint by the structure.
The Puljichs’ play started in 1982 with Peter Puljich and one site owned by his family company, Living Gems. It increased its footprint steadily in Queensland, before the family set up GemLife in 2016 alongside Thakral Capital, a financial investor and subsidiary of Singapore’s Thakral Corporation.
Living Gems and GemLife agreed a deal to merge over summer, and continue under the GemLife name. The combined group has sites along Australia’s east coast, including on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and at Lennox Head, and is run by two of Peter Puljich’s sons: Adrian Puljich (CEO) and Vlad Puljich (COO).