Choppy seas in Ocean Capital case
Paul McGowan, the former joint managing director of Dolmen Stockbrokers, has become embroiled in a rather interesting High Court case in London – a tasty row between his Ocean Capital private equity firm and HIG Capital, the US-headquartered buyout specialist.
According to documents filed last month in court – as reported by Private Equity News – the Swiss bank UBS put €32 million of Ocean’s loans up for sale this year.
The money was borrowed to buy property in the Netherlands.
Ocean alleges it held discussions with a HIG executive about financing a buyback of its loans, but the talks broke down – big style, by the sound of things.
According to Ocean’s court filings: “One of [HIG’s] representatives concluded communications between the parties with a threat: ‘Mark my words, if I can f*** these Ocean guys, I will’.”
“They did,” the Ocean lawyer concludes.
Ocean is alleging that HIG used private information gleaned from the discussions to buy Ocean’s loans from UBS for itself, at an estimated 50 per cent discount.
Ocean complains that, to boot, it now has to pay back the full amount to the firm that allegedly wanted to “f***” it.
Neither McGowan nor HIG was available for comment.