Over-ambitious investment promises fail at Laugharne’s Corran Resort
When bank base rate is 0.25%, investments offering up to 15% a year, and an uplift in capital, look too good to be true.
In the case of the Corran Resort and Spa near Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, the promised returns were too hot, and have evaporated into the air above Carmarthen Bay.
Kayboo Ltd, the company owning the freehold of the resort property — currently a 21-room hotel with a spa – was forced into administration on October 18th. Creditors were kicking up a fuss because, they claimed, they had not received the advertised returns, and they could not withdraw their capital.
Comments from unhappy investors on the website ‘question.com’ include:
“I invested in a glitzy hotel scheme called Corran Resort and Spa. The hotel is still operating in Wales and hundreds of investors have put money in that scheme. I have been asking for buy back of my investment for more than a month but no reply from them.”
“It is not clear to me where all the funds of the investors went.”
“They were paying quarterly till Q3 2015. Then they stopped and I understand they stopped for everyone.”
During the final quarter of 2015, the Corran had to digest Carmarthenshire County Council’s decision to refuse a planning application (reference W/31936) for 200 lodges, a swimming pool and additional restaurant, because of the proposed location in a flood plan, and fears of significant ecological damage. Kayboo said it had a deal agreed with the US-based resorts, hotels and self-catering multinational Wyndham Worldwide to partner it in the lodges venture – but no permission, no well-heeled partner either, and disappointment for Kayboo’s directors Keith Stiles and Peter Burnett.
West Wales News Review’s previous concerns about the investment model were aired here in December 2015,
Investments in the Corran are still being advertised, for example on buytoletinvest.com and quantaxinternational.com. Buytoletinvest.com advertises annual returns of 10% net from years 1 to 10, and 15% between years 11 and 15, with assured resale at 125% of the original investment after year 5, rising to 150%. The promotion claims “Customers can also sell their property on the open market, typically for far greater capital returns.”
Buyers were offered fractions of a room, such as one-twenty-sixth of a ‘boutique suite’ for £18,000 in 2015, as well as whole suites, but the formula relied on high occupancy at very high room rates, such as £340 a night for dinner, bed and breakfast in a top-notch suite at a weekend.
Kayboo’s most recent annual accounts, for the year to March 31st 2015, show tangible assets of £14.5 million, up from £11.5 million the year before, and net assets of £867,092, more than double the year before. £1.572 million had to be paid to creditors within one year, and £14.167 million more after that — an excessively heavy obligation, especially if the physical assets had been optimistically valued.
The message? Mega returns might occasionally materialise, but they don’t come without mammoth risks.