Harlequin restructuring to see resort land placed in trust

Embattled overseas property investment group Harelquin has announced that its resort-building arm, Harlequin Hotels and Resorts, is set to create a trust for investors in the Buccament Bay resort into which it proposes to place all land in the resort not already allocated to investors.

According to a release from the firm, the trust ‘aims to give investors security over the parts of the resort not yet allotted to investors’ properties’. The move is the first step of a wider restructuring by Harlequin, the statement added.

This summer (12 July), Harlequin confirmed to FTAdviser it was working with law firm Regulatory Legal Solicitors, which represents investors in the firm, to explore options for restructuring.

Harlequin’s UK sales arm Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited entered administration in April 2013, although it claimed administration would not threaten its investments.

According the Harlequin’s plan, investors who became members of the trust would hold a charge over the remaining registered land at Buccament Bay Resort including all facilities. Initially open only to investors in that particular resort, the trust may eventually open to outside investors as well.

Harlequin chairman David Ames (pictured), said: “This is a positive step forward that will benefit investors all-round as the confidence it brings will also assist with acquiring external finance, which will accelerate the continued development of the resort.

“The prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines has assured me that the new international airport will open next year, so I am keen that construction recommences at the resort as soon as possible.”

A statement from Harlequin added that in the coming weeks, investors will be asked to consider legal advice on the proposed trust “with a view to signing up as members as soon as possible”.