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Sisk and Cotter's €30m Riviera yacht club sunk


Michael Cotter

Michael Cotter

Michael Cotter

BUILDING tycoon John Sisk's and Nama developer Michael Cotter's posh South of France sailing-club investment is now pretty much sunk, with assets "quietly for sale", the Sunday Independent has learned.

Both keen sailors, Sisk and Cotter backed a €30m development in the affluent Cote d'Azur port town of Villefranche, along with the US yachting legend 'Mr Americas Cup' Dennis Conner and a number of Irish investors.

It was to include an exclusive sailing club, luxury villas, a customised classic supercar garage and a fleet of refurbished Dublin Bay 24 yacht cruisers for hire by wealthy club members.

"We ran out of funding," admitted the project director of the Villefranche Classic Yacht Club, Christopher Craig.

He explained: "It was to be funded by Anglo Irish Bank before it collapsed."

French banks have not been forthcoming with alternative finance, he said.

"And the company that was restoring the yachts went out of business," said Mr Craig.

"The property assets are quietly for sale, but I'm looking for other investors. The current investors want to sell the assets -- they've got other things on their mind at the moment.

"Planning permission has run out on some of the development, so it's compromised, it doesn't have great value."

Meanwhile, in a harbour closer to home, Nama is believed to have written down over €50m of debt attached to the blighted Greystones Harbour Development.

The write-down is thought to be part of a secretive deal struck to allow building giant Sisk Group to take over the project, which is a public-private partnership in conjunction with Wicklow County Council.

Originally, Sisk Group and Michael Cotter's Park Developments formed a consortium, Sispar, which was to build the project. Now Sisk is taking "full responsibility" for the development.

Sunday Indo Business