Tuesday 3 March 2009

Oceanico Group Strenuously Denies Bankruptcy Claims

Portuguese developer, Oceanico Group, run by Dubliner Gerry Fagan, has denied vehemently reports on a number of forums that it has been declared bankrupt. 

Among others, the Special Forces Military Forums carried a post from a first time poster identified as AaronQJ which said:

"Oceanico resorts in the Algarve Portugal owners of Vilamoura Golf courses has filed for bankruptcy, leaving thousands of homeowners without finished properties, it is estimated that there is a deficit in the accounts that could be as big as 2 billion euro's, due to investments in the Stanford Financial bank, when contacted by the Algarve Resident newspaper, the reporter was told the owners have left the country."

In a strongly worded reply on the same forum Oceanico stated:
The directors of the OCEÂNICO GROUP wish to make it clear that the recent scurrilous posting regarding Oceânico "resorts" and its alleged filing for bankruptcy are libelous and completely without foundation. The OCEÂNICO GROUP and its subsidiary companies continue to trade successfully and profitably in all operating locations, both within PORTUGAL and other areas. In PORTUGAL, the Belmar Spa & Beach Resort as well as the Amendoeira Golf Resort (phase one), featuring the Faldo and O'Connor 18 holes championship golf courses, will be completed shortly. The group is fully funded from its own resources and via its banking partners and is operating within agreed cash-flows. The group has no association, and has never had an association with the Stanford Financial Bank. The owners of the company have lived in Portugal for many years and continue to do so. Legal advice has been taken regarding the referred posting with civil and criminal action against those involved being considered.

OverseasCafe.com contacted the Algarve Resident, who said they were aware of the story and that it was completely untrue.  No member of its staff ever informed anyone that the directors of Oceanico had gone anywhere and it had no information to suggest that Oceanico was in financial distress of any description.

We also contacted Simon Burgess, Oceanico director, who said: "We seem to have upset someone, there has been a number of very nasty blogs. We are fully funded to complete our three developments in the Algarve with nearly 500 good contracts. This is going to be our best year yet, and we could not be further from bankruptcy, the Oceanico Prestige Residence Club is being launched at the end of April. We had nearly 700 enquiries in February and have inspection trips every day."

This random forum posting is a very worrying development. At a time when confidence in agents, developers and the property market in general is at an all time low, such information being wrongfully presented in the public domain could potentially cause the collapse of a perfectly viable company. 

This story shows up the problems inherent with forums and blogs, unless the information promoted on them is independently verified, it is absolutely useless. The posts, which could well emanate from a disgruntled party of some description, put in very grave danger the reputation of Oceanico and others who have had patently untrue information posted about them. 

Information on forums and blogs (such as this one obviously) should therefore be treated with an appropriate level of scepticism until the 'facts' presented can be properly verified. 

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