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Stay Out Of This Property Prison

Posted on: October 23rd, 2007

Only 8 days left. 8 days to subscribe for 10 years of imprisonment. Saturation advertising has hit the airwaves. Eddie is everywhere.

Reports from the provinces confirm that Eddie Hobbs and his band of property buccaneers in Brendan Investments are only attracting a handful of star-struck punters to their countrywide road show.


There were just 32 people in Newbridge’s Keadeen Hotel, 20 in the Sligo Radisson, while there were only 14 in Dublin Airport’s Radisson, and a mere dozen in Cavan, according to staff in both venues.

The punters are not morons. Unregulated European property is high risk. Take a look at the front page story in this business section. It makes grim reading for investors in overseas property.

Eddie’s Brendan Investments has been obliged to publish a supplementary prospectus. An up-to-date, less bullish, report on property has been included.

There is another interesting change: the maximum investment allowed into the property vehicle has suddenly trebled. Why would that be? Well, if Hobbs’ countrywide road shows are not attracting the throngs of small subscribers, the promoters may be forced to resort to the bigger, but often more awkwardly inquisitive investors to make up critical mass.

Critical mass is anywhere between E10m and E250m. If Brendan Investments raises an ambitious E250m, they can then borrow E750m and charge one per cent on the lot- a cool billion. That will net E10m a year for the boys from their one per cent management fee.

A cool E100m in fees could be extracted in E10m annual installments over the 10-year life of the company.

Imprisoned investors, locked in for 10 years, will watch and wonder as the lads coin it. No dividends are planned. The promoters alone will be on profitable parole from the 10-year custodial sentence. Small punters cannot be expected to understand the small print. Big investors should have more sense. Resist the blandishments.