SnOasis safe despite failure of backer

THE company behind the SnOasis winter sports development said yesterday that work on the complex would go ahead as planned despite the collapse of an Irish investment firm connected with the project.

THE company behind the SnOasis winter sports development said yesterday that work on the complex would go ahead as planned despite the collapse of an Irish investment firm connected with the project.

Onslow Suffolk Ltd, the company spearheading the �300 million SnOasis winter sports complex, promised its schedule would continue unaffected by the failure of First Equity Group.

The investment group went into liquidation last Friday after a planned rescue package designed to save the firm from insolvency failed to materialise.

First Equity had sourced and managed investments for a number of major projects, including the Suffolk ski resort, worth more than �2.75 billion.

Godfrey Spanner, managing director of Onslow, said: “We were aware that the rescue plan for First Equity was failing which is sad but a reflection of the credit crisis generally and the extreme depression in Ireland.

“SnOasis however is not affected by their demise. Shares are held by the individual investors through a special purpose vehicle with no connection to Onslow except for representation on the board of directors.

Most Read

“We have spoken daily to First Equity during their fight for survival, which we thought was to be successful, and because that was the proper route to our investors who stay in place and who recently subscribed for more shares.”

First Equity was a casualty of the downturn in the property markets after it invested heavily in buying sites and properties.

The floundering economy meant the firm was unable to raise development finance and many of its projects stalled.

However, Mr Spanner stressed that Onslow would not need to replace any of its 40 existing investors.

“The project is well in hand,” he said. “A current application for detail of the housing element, both affordable and private dwellings, is being discussed with planned work commencing on infrastructure later this year.”