Sunday, March 15, 2009

Paul Coughlan's Prestige Group Nears the End Game

The Prestige Group, which describes itself as 'Ireland's Oldest Property Investment House' looks like it will be the next high profile casualty of the recession. 

The company claims to have placed €2.75bn in property investments since its inception. It has, in fact, only been involved in the overseas property market since 1998, at which stage the boom in Irish investors purchasing property in Spain was well underway. In fact the Irish mass market had, at that stage, started to move further afield to look at areas such as Portugal, Hungary and Florida in particular. 

A creditors meeting has been called for next Wednesday (March 18th) at the Stillorgan Park Hotel in Dublin. Some of the major creditors of the company include KBC (formerly IIB), the Bank of Scotland owned Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland.

Prestige came to prominence in the early noughties when it sold huge amounts of off-plan property in Manchester and Budapest in particular. Many clients claimed, once they had received their properties, that they had been sold at very high valuations and the rentals achieved on them were far below those outlined by Prestige in its marketing documentation.

The company subsequently disappeared off the property sales radar for a couple of years and then, around 2006, a major PR push was instigated. The aim seemed to be to promote it's owner, Paul Coughlan, and the lavish 'high-roller' lifestyle he led. Toward this aim Coughlan appeared in a number of lifestyle magazines (most notably VIP but also a number of newspaper magazines) and a number of publications were invited into his lavish Foxrock home. 

In recent weeks posts have been appearing on a number of forums from frustrated investors who have not been receiving their rentals on properties purchased from the Prestige Group. There have also been rumours that he has been, to date unsuccessfully, trying to sell his luxury villa in Portugal. 

Coughlan's investment vehicle, Kaizen Property International, made somewhat of a comeback last year in the form of Touchstone Capital but this re-engagement with the overseas property market would appear to have been fleeting. The company sold apart-hotels in Germany and the UK as well as Below Market Value (BMV) property in the UK. 

The Prestige Group itself reappeared at the end of last year selling German Apart-Hotels, managed suites in Marbella and UK commercial property.

Further queries on the creditors meeting should be directed to The Prestige Group at or +353 (0)1 2176300

No comments:

Post a Comment