Swiss Developer Lures Investors to Back Croatian Resort Plan

  • TFI Holding may start construction on Adriatic coast in 2017
  • Brad Pitt may be among potential investors, CEO says

Swiss developer TFI Holding SA is luring investors to Croatia to take part in a more than 800 million-euro ($898 million) project to build a resort on the Adriatic coast, its chief executive said.

The Wollerau, Switzerland-based closely-held company bought 110 acres (450,000 square meters) of land in Zablace, near the historic town of Sibenik, for 60 million euros and plans to purchase an additional 40 acres to develop a luxury resort with hotels, villas, shops and a marina, as well as a clinic and a school, Jean-Paul Uldry said in an interview in Zagreb earlier this week.

He is now looking for investors for the future resort with as many as 2,500 beds and has toured the area with Hollywood star Brad Pitt, who he hopes may also take part in the project. Spokeswoman for Pitt Cynthia Prett-Dante in Beverly Hills, California didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and e-mails from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

“We are looking for investors and assessing offers,” Uldry said. “Croatia is the greatest place to invest in tourism in Europe right now. It’s clean, safe, with skilled people and excellent infrastructure.”

Tourism revenue may exceed 8 billion euros this year, a record for the European Union’s newest member. Good weather and a perception of Croatia as a safe destination contributed to the results, Tourism Minister Anton Kliman told Bloomberg last month.

Construction may start next year, according to Uldry. The developer still needs to submit plans and obtain building permits, Madlena Rosa Dulibic, head of the urban planning department in the city of Sibenik, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

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