Phuket resort owners Castlewood Group goes into liquidation

UPDATE: “The liquidation is for Singapore assets only, NOT Thai assets, the (Phuket) hotel is not being liquidated and operating as normal,” according to the Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa General Manager Chris Adams.

PHOTO: Couple Travel The World

The future of a Phuket resort in the booming Layan Beach/Cherngtalay area, funded by a Singapore-based property developer, is under a cloud following the liquidation of the Singapore-based developer. The project was opened in 2016.

The resort’s development attracted over $90 million of funds at the time of its construction. Now, according to The Straits Times in Singapore, some retail investors are lodging a police report in Singapore after the company suddenly went into liquidation. Some investors of the failed developer, Castlewood Group, now suspect that they “may have fallen prey into a scam”.

The Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa opened with great fanfare in 2016…

Singaporean commercial real estate developer, Castlewood Group celebrated the grand opening of their flagship luxury hotel development in Asia, Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa and Dream Beach in true New York cosmopolitan style with their signature world-class hospitality.

Investors in the development have spoken to the The Straits Times saying that they were informed a month ago that Castlewood was winding up and that they had to attend a meeting to appoint a liquidator. Investors have declined to be named over fears that speaking to the media may jeopardise their chances of getting any of their money back. Disgruntled investors are also organising themselves on the Singapore social media platform Telegram to discuss ways to try to retrieve their funds.

Castlewood Group’s key project is a hotel resort called Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa, in Cherngtalay, central Phuket. It has about 170 rooms and suites. It is not clear that the liquidation of Castlewood Group will affect the Dream Beach Club on Layan Beach which also has connections with a company under the Castlewood brand.

Chris Comer, Castlewood Group’s former chief executive, said in a July 2013 media report that the company had chosen Singapore as its headquarters because it is a safe place for investments.

Meanwhile, a 54 year old investor said the November meeting to appoint a liquidator came as a surprise.

“I knew the company was not doing well, but I did not expect to lose my investment.”

The unnamed man had invested $100,000 or so and had expected to get around 8% interest a year return. Instead he had only received about $7,000 in the first year and nothing since. Accounting firm Nexia TS handed out paperwork during the liquidator meeting indicating that Castlewood Group owed creditors, mostly retail investors, about $107 million.

(It is understood that the $ amounts are in SGD)

According to the document, bout 930 retail investors were owed about $91 million, with amounts ranging between $2,877 and $700,000, as reported in The Straits Times. Some firms had informed The Straits Times that Castlewood Group had failed to pay for services, like publicity.

Some investors have told The Straits Times they did not know that the company had raised so much money, more than what was needed to build the resort. Investors said they had put their money into Castlewood Group after attending events like Invest Fair or through recommendations.

SOURCE: The Straits Times

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