New life for trouble-ridden The Keys development at Quinta do Lago

SPX International Asset Management – a London-based fund management company under the umbrella of Brazilian group SPX Capital – have taken over the trouble-ridden The Keys development at Quinta do Lago in the Algarve in a major €95 million deal.

The company plans to breathe new life into the development and bring its tally of “residential units to 72” across a 45,000sqm plot of land.

Gonçalo Santos, Head of Development at consulting company JLL which oversaw the deal, said that the project enjoys an “unmatched location with great potential” and showcases the opportunities that the Portuguese market offers investors.

Whether this will be a turning point for the controversial development remains to be seen.

As Essential Business highlighted this week, three famous UK TV celebrities have lost millions of euros in the development.

Anthony David McPartlin and Declan Joseph Donnelly – better known as Ant and Dec, Britain’s Got Talent presenters – paid €3 million each to purchase property at The Keys, a real estate project from Birchview which went bankrupt during the last financial crisis, leaving a trail of debts behind it worth €307 million.

‘Ant’ and ‘Dec’ are two of the Birchview creditors who are claiming €5.6 million because of the purchase promissory contracts that they signed, to which has been added around €1.5 million in interest and compensation.

They had paid for two houses, one with a covered pool and another underground, as well as a cinema, bar and other luxury amenities.

Another British TV household name, Phillip Schofield, had his fingers burnt to the tune of €1.6 million which he had paid for his house in The Keys. Now he is claiming a further €169,000 in interest and €500,000 in compensation.

Another 15 investors also lost millions when they signed ‘on plan’ promissory contracts to buy luxury properties at The Keys but are unlikely to see a red cent back from their failed investments.

Others affected in the failed investment include the Portuguese tax authorities which lost €1.1 million in taxes, and the State-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) which had lent and lost €307 million on the project.

The development was put up for sale in September for €95 million and adjudicated to SPX.

The deadline for the presentation of tenders to buy The Keys was up on November 3, the liquidation administrator appointed for Birchview accepted and awarded the sale operation to the sole applicant.

Read the full Essential Business article here: