Three top central London hotels have been sold by Ireland’s ‘bad bank’ in a deal worth almost £700m.
Claridges and the Connaught in Mayfair and the Berkeley in Knightsbridge have been sold by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) as it looks to clear toxic debts from Ireland’s banks. Nama said it sold loans taken out by a group of Irish investors who took over the luxury London hotels in 2005 for 800m euro (£696m).
Taxman-turned-financier Derek Quinlan’s Maybourne Hotel Group had purchased the hotels. The deal was secured under the Maybourne Finance Limited company by Daily Telegraph owners Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay.
The Irish taxpayer has footed the bill for clearing out the failing developments and property-linked loans from five stricken Irish banks. Nama believes this deal represents good value for the people of Ireland.
“The loans were sold for in excess of 800 million euro with Nama recovering 100 per cent of the original value of the loans plus interest,” said Nama, which bought the loans from banks at a discounted rate in June last year.
Money for the original deal was lent by Anglo-Irish Bank and Allied Irish Banks, which are now under state control. Stockbroker Kyran McLaughlin of Davy Stockbrokers and Belfast-born developer and property investor Paddy McKillen were involved in the syndicate which made the investment. Both McKillen and McLaughlin had already sold their stakes.
The deal had been seen as a major coup for Irish investors when it was made, some two years before the country was struck by one of the costliest banking collapses in history. At the time, Chinese and Malaysian syndicates were also said to be interested in making an investment.
A total of 14 paintings from Quinlan’s art collection art collection are also being sold off to go towards the repayment of his debts, Nama announced earlier in September. Among the works being sold is Jack B Yeats’ piece called Man Doing Accounts and an Andy Warhol Dollar sign, which has a guide price of up to $600,000 (£382,000).
The cost of staying at the five-star Claridges hotel in London at Halloween is upwards of £429 per night for the room only.