'Money back is not an option' says ACI boss

Boss of German developer says investments are all tied up in land, contractors, suppliers.
'Money back is not an option' says ACI boss
MONEY TALK: Robin Lohmann, MD of ACI Real Estate, has said investors cannot have their money back. (ITP Images)
By Anil Bhoyrul and Alex Delmar-Morgan
Thu 09 Jul 2009 06:14 AM

The boss of German developer ACI Real Estate has told investors that getting their cash back is "not an option". In an interview with Arabian Business to be published in full on Sunday, managing director Robin Lohmann defended his development funds in which investors put 50m euros ($69.5m).

Although the first fund has healthy returns, funds 2-5 were due to return profits in March this year. Lohmann has faced stern criticism in the German media, after investors who put up to millions of euros into his funds did not receive payments earlier this year.

But Lohmann said: "Money back is not an option as this point of time, the money has been invested in the land, which is fully paid, the money has been spend in the development, which is normal, the contractor and suppliers are not working for free, also not for a branded tower.

"The only way to get the money back is to complete the building from our side and third party purchasers have to fulfill their payment obligations as well."

In the interview, he also firmly denied that the money due back in March is linked to investments in the Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda branded towers.

"These funds are only due in the year of 2012, so all the press releases which have been published over the last weeks are badly researched and untrue.

"But for sure it is more interesting for journalists and Dubai experts to involve celebrities’ names in headlines instead of writing a true story, these headlines are selling - celebrities are selling – this is why we have chosen them as well."

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