Monday, July 06, 2009

ACI Investors demand refund of money

German and Austrian investors are demanding their money back from developers of Nikki Lauda, Borris Becker and Michael Schumacher towers in Dubai.

The investors had paid a total of about Dh.779.7m into funds to pay for the buildings. The investments were to be repaid from the capital gains.

The investors said that their money due in March is yet to be repaid, and that they are in consultation with lawyers to withdraw their money from the funds.

The investment company behind the project, Alternative Capital Invest (ACI), however, confirms that it has "solid assets", and the towers will go ahead.

The Managing Director, Robin Lohmann, mentioned that the money to repay investors were not available as the projects could not be sold as planned, amid the slowing market conditions.

Instead, he offered the investors with choice of either waiting until the assets of ACI gets liquidated, or choose a property asset owned by another company Falcon International Investment Group based in Dubai.

However, investors fear that if they accept the Falcon option, it may involve additional costs and risk. The investors claim that the ownership of Falcon's assets is unclear, although it is associated to ACI.

One of the investors mentioned that Falcon only speaks about reservation contracts of various properties, and reservation contract is not a purchasing contract.

Lohmann said "With this package, we intended to show people that we have ACI assets, and that in addition we also have in offer a security package through Falcon of fully paid assets, which is almost the double of what was due in March.".

Property buyers who have invested in off-plan apartments of ACI's buildings are also upset about the delays in construction.

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