Sunday 19 November 2017

Rising asset values, the paydown of loans and the availability of finance to rejig debt, has propelled the urbane Paddy McKillen (57) onto the Rich List for the first time. It's a long more thandue appearance.

Belfast-born McKillen worked in his family exhaust repair business before moving into property in the 1980s. He developed shopping centres including the Jervis Centre

before building up a portfolio

of valuable assets outside

Ireland.

He was the only major developer to escape Nama, having lawyered up and taken a landmark case to successfully prevent the transfer of his €2.1bn in loans on almost 70 properties from Dublin to Paris, New York and Asia. His Irish-focused Clarendon Properties - owned with Tony Leonard and which controls the Jervis Centre and Powerscourt Townhouse - had €500m worth of properties and about €360m in debt before the crash.

McKillen was at the centre of a titanic row with British billionaire Barclay brothers more than the ownership of the Claridges hotel group. He sold his 36pc stake to Qatar's Constellation group last April for close to €800m, which was more than enough to clear his debts.

McKillen's other interests include the stunning Chateau la Coste vineyard in Provence, which was partially designed by starchitect Frank Gehry and features works by Tracy Emin and REM frontman Michael Stipe. McKillen's kids are becoming big players on the Dublin nightlife scene opening the Dean Hotel, Angelina's and a number of hipster bars.

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