Heath Aston July 01, 2012
Illustration: Cathy Wilcox
THE Sunrise host David Koch will risk taking a towelling on his next investment - a bathhouse business in Kings Cross.
''Kochie'' is poised to sink some of his fortune into an Asian-style steam bath to be opened by his former executive producer, Adam Boland.
In a surprise announcement last year, Boland said he would step back from Sunrise, having taken the breakfast program to the top of the ratings, and would establish the Ginseng Baths in the city's east.
But having secured development approval, the pair were $1.7 million short of the $4 million they needed to raise by July 31, so Boland approached high-profile people, believed to be mainly Channel Seven stars, to come on board.
Boland confirmed Koch was one who was ready to invest: ''Kochie is certainly interested but he hasn't signed the financial papers yet.''
He said Koch, who started his career as a financial journalist, could be an ''independent voice'' on the board of what is a family company.
Boland, who still produces the Weekend Sunrise program, said large sections of the ''Asian, gay and lesbian, and eastern suburbs communities'' were keenly awaiting the venture. ''Clearly, some of my friends now share my passion [for Ginseng],'' he said.
''It's a good business so it doesn't surprise me that some want to be involved … And while I'm thankful for their wise counsel, I suspect you won't see any of them as towel boys at Ginseng. Disappointing, I know.''
Koch said he had not yet committed any money to the project but gave it his backing.