Fiji military seize Bridgecorp's Momi Bay resort

By Anne Gibson

Fiji's Momi Bay resort, one of the projects of failed finance company Bridgecorp. Photo / Dean Purcell
Fiji's Momi Bay resort, one of the projects of failed finance company Bridgecorp. Photo / Dean Purcell

Bridgecorp's receivers are investigating what to do after the Fijian military regime seized the failed Momi Bay resort against its wishes.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman in Auckland said the action left the receivers consulting lawyers and happened after the receivers tried to stop the action.

Colin McCloy and John Fisk at PWC were in charge of the resort but now the military government has stepped in to stem huge superannuation losses.

The Fiji Times reported yesterday that the Momi Bay Development Decree became effective last Friday.

That approved the move by the Fiji National Provident Fund to get full control and continue the development, the newspaper said.

The fund has a $60.7 million exposure to Momi, the abandoned tropical resort where the vast 140ha first stage involved 22km of roading.

Now, PWC is deciding what it can do to recover money from Fiji for the 14,360 Bridgecorp investors.

A PWC spokesperson said legal advice was being sought. The fund has more than 300,000 members but its Momi stake has been a disastrous investment.

"The state found it was essential and imperative that the fund acquired proper ownership of the stagnant tourism project so it could realise the securities that the fund held in Momi," the newspaper said.

Bridgecorp was developing the resort when it failed. Bridgecorp collapsed in July, 2007 owing $459 million. Its largest loan was to Momi and last year McCloy said he was working with the developer and financiers to try to secure funding to complete it. Bridgecorp had a $49.1 million exposure to Momi where work stopped after the military coup in 2006.

- NZ Herald

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