A FIVE-STAR Caribbean resort development backed by Irish investors has found over €100m to refinance after its Icelandic backer's collapse.
Roebuck Properties, led by Galway hurling legend Brendan Lynskey, businessmen Neal Sweeney and Brian Kennedy, was backed by KSF, the British arm of the notorious Kaupthing bank before it went bust.
Kaupthing's administrators are now pursuing Roebuck for €10.5m related to the St Lucia-based apartment, hotel, spa and golf development.
Lynskey, Sweeney and Kennedy are also on the hook for almost €800,000 each in personal guarantees on the Kaupthing debt, which is being managed out by Ernst & Young. "We're working with their administrators to finalise a settlement," said Sweeney.
"We have a London-based investor who will put in €20m, a hedge fund involved in real estate in the Caribbean."
Sweeney says that a further €86m finance has been secured from EXIM, a Chinese bank, and a Chinese contractor is to construct the development. The EXIM money is contingent on Roebuck bringing €20m to the table.
The resort will operate under the Ritz Carlton brand and building work is planned to start in April 2013. The St Lucia government is part-owner of the land and is a stakeholder in the deal.
The 77 original phase-one apartments sold rapidly off the plans in 2006 for upwards of €750,000 a pop, but all deposits were refunded.