Battle for control of the Maybourne Hotel Group
2004:Financier Derek Quinlan assembles a group of investors to buy the Savoy Hotel Group in London for £750 million (€950 million) through a company called Coroin.
The investors are Quinlan, Paddy McKillen, Riverdance’s founders John McColgan and Moya Doherty, the family of Manchester businessman Peter Green, and stockbroker Kyran McLaughlin, along with three short-term investors, including Seán FitzPatrick, the Anglo Irish Bank chief executive.
2005:Savoy Hotel is sold to Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal. The group retains three hotels – Claridge’s, the Berkeley and the Connaught in London – and is renamed the Maybourne Hotel Group.
July 2010:McKillen issues legal action against the National Asset Management Agency to prevent loans of €2.1 billion being transferred to the State loans agency.
October 2010: McKillen’s High Court case begins. Quinlan enters into a “gentleman’s agreement” to offer his 35 per cent stake in Coroin to Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay, owners of The Ritz hotel in London and the Daily Telegraph, if he decides to sell.
November 2010:McKillen loses his action against Nama.
January 2011:The Barclays buy Misland, the company owned by the Green family, which holds a 25 per cent stake in Coroin. The Barclays claim to have control of the company on the basis that they effectively control Quinlan’s 35 per cent stake as well.
McKillen’s lawyers tell Misland and Coroin that any sale of Misland would constitute a sale of an interest in the shares and trigger the pre-emption rights in the shareholder agreement. A Barclays company buys the debt owed by Quinlan to Bank of Scotland (Ireland) and security over 22 per cent of Quinlan’s shares.
February 2011: McKillen wins a Supreme Court appeal to keep his loans out of Nama. McLaughlin sells his 3.6 per cent shareholding to Misland, which is now controlled by the Barclay brothers.
Talks intensify among shareholders with potential investors, including the Qatari royal family and a Far Eastern sovereign wealth fund.
March 2011:Talks between McKillen and the Barclays take place.
April 2011:The hotel group’s £660 million loan with Nama, transferred from Anglo and Bank of Ireland, is refinanced on quarterly rollover. The Barclays try to buy McKillen’s debt on Coroin shares from Anglo.
June 2011:Barclays propose deal with McKillen to split shareholding in the company 60:40.
July 2011:Nama rolls over its hotels loan to September 30th.
September 27th, 2011: Nama sells loan to Maybourne Finance, a company controlled by the Barclays, for the full face value of £660 million. McKillen says he was given just 57 minutes’ notice.
October 2011: McKillen issues legal proceedings in the High Court in London against Misland, Quinlan and Barclays’ companies over breach of shareholder agreement and sale of debt to Nama.
Barclays renew their campaign to buy McKillen’s loans from Anglo.
January 27th, 2012:Mike Aynsley, the chief executive of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, sends a text message to McKillen saying the bank will not sell its debt secured on his 36 per cent stake in the Maybourne hotels to the Barclays. Aynsley asks McKillen to keep the information confidential “as I can’t have board positions like this leaking out!”
March 19th, 2012: McKillen’s case against Barclays’ companies and Quinlan starts in London.
March 22nd:The court is told McKillen has an agreement with the Qatari royal family for a 50:50 deal to invest in the hotels and to purchase the Barclay brothers’ 64 per cent interest.
May 11th:The High Court hears that Tony Blair’s business firm lobbied the Qatari royal family on behalf of McKillen in negotiations to invest in the hotels.
June 27th:Court of Appeal in London rules against McKillen saying that Nama’s sale of hotel debt to Barclays was valid.
August 10th: McKillen loses his case against the Barclays. He is expected to lodge an appeal.