Thursday 21 September 2017

Barclays reject claims of 'conspiracy' over hotels

Shane Hickey in London

THE billionaire Barclay brothers have said they "deeply resent" allegations made by developer Paddy McKillen that they have been part of an unlawful conspiracy surrounding the ownership of three London hotels.

In a statement to the High Court, Frederick Barclay accused the Belfast businessman of using a torrent of foul language when discussing financier Derek Quinlan.

It comes in the closing days of the court action launched by Mr McKillen against the Barclays over their attempts to take over Coroin, the company which owns Claridges, the Connaught and the Berkeley hotels.

Frederick Barclay said he is "effectively retired". His brother, David, who neither gave evidence nor made a statement, is seriously ill with angina and he speaks for both of them.

"My brother and I deeply resent the suggestion that we have been party to an unlawful conspiracy," Frederick says.

"At all times, we conducted ourselves honestly and believed that what the business was doing was lawful and would not have gone along with or let it happen otherwise."

Mr McKillen admitted saying Mr Quinlan was sitting around on his "fat ass" at the time the Barclays bought up a stake in Coroin.

In final submissions yesterday, counsel for Mr Quinlan said that while his client is currently going through difficult financial circumstances, he had an "unblemished career" but Mr McKillen had sought to embarrass him in court.

Counsel for Mr McKillen said the action was taken to protect the interest he had in the hotels for the last eight years and any other suggestion was "offensive and absurd".

Irish Independent

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