Business Irish

Sunday 9 December 2018

'Tragically derelict' luxury hotel sold for €10m as legal woes mount over Fingleton's Adriatic dream

Former INBS chief Michael Fingleton said he was ‘out of the loop’ on the Hotel Fjord Kotor in Montenegro. Photo: www.doug.ie
Former INBS chief Michael Fingleton said he was ‘out of the loop’ on the Hotel Fjord Kotor in Montenegro. Photo: www.doug.ie

Dearbhail McDonald - Group Business Editor

The "tragically derelict" Hotel Fjord Kotor in Montenegro, which Michael Fingleton once described as his "most valuable asset", has been sold for more than €10m.

Fingleton, who led Irish Nationwide Building Society for 38 years, ploughed €5.5m of his own money to secure a controlling stake in New Fjord Developments (NFD).

Kotor hotel
Kotor hotel

The consortium was set up to undertake a planned €200m revamp of the site situated in the former luxury resort in a Unesco-protected area. Fingleton valued his stake in the development at €4m in a statement of assets in 2010.

Now the dilapidated site, which has become "an eyesore covered in graffiti and populated by drug addicts" according to real estate bible Property Week, has been sold for €10.4m.

Fingleton's partner in NFD was Irish developer Louis Maguire, whose United Entertainment Partners (UEP) held a 25pc stake in the consortium. However, the men have been locked in a series of legal disputes for more than 10 years over the project.

Maguire told the Sunday Independent that he, as a 25pc shareholder, has not received any of the proceeds of the sale of the hotel to Podgorica-based Boka Bay Investment Ltd.

Contacted by the Sunday Independent, Fingleton said that he was unable to comment as he is "out of the loop" in respect of the hotel.

Michael Fingleton Jnr, speaking on behalf of his father, said: "I cannot make any comment on this matter at this time as there are still a number of legal matters that need to be resolved."

Last month, Fingleton told the Central Bank's inquiry into INBS, which collapsed at a cost of €5.4bn, that its board should bear "ultimate responsibility" for its failings.

He argued his "dominance" as managing director had become "diluted" by the turn of the century as he oversaw its growth and expansion into UK and European markets.

Sunday Indo Business

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