Tuesday 21 January 2020

Quinlan bankruptcy case expected in 2020

Home for Life CEO Paul Cunningham
Home for Life CEO Paul Cunningham

Sean Pollock

Boom-time property investor Derek Quinlan's UK bankruptcy case is set to move ahead, with a procedural hearing set for May.

The bankruptcy petition was submitted in February by Edgeworth Capital, an investment fund owned by British billionaire Robert Tchenguiz. It relates to a dispute over a debt owed on the Santander office complex outside Madrid.

According to a previous UK high court judgment, Quinlan could owe Edgeworth about €80m.

It is expected that a timeline for the final bankruptcy case will be set at the scheduled procedural hearing in May 2020. The Sunday Independent understands that there is an expectation the final bankruptcy hearing will take place around November, though no date has been set.

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In 2008, Quinlan and former business partner Glenn Maud acquired the Santander office complex for €1.9bn through three loans from the Royal Bank of Scotland. Edgeworth and Aabar, the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, later acquired one of the loans, worth €200m. It was secured against shares in Ramblas, a group owned by Quinlan and Maud which held the Santander asset.

Edgeworth has claimed that Quinlan breached a 2011 agreement regarding a debt he owes on the asset. One condition of the agreement between the parties was that Quinlan should not frustrate the funds attempts to acquire control of Ramblas.

Edgeworth said the 2011 agreement was breached after he failed to arrange a meeting of Ramblas shareholders in 2014 on whether to dismiss Quinlan and Maud, frustrating the funds' process of acquiring control of the company.

In April, Quinlan failed to get an injunction preventing the bankruptcy petition proceeding. He denied breaching the agreement, stating that the fund had violated it.

A spokesperson for Quinlan said that he considers the petition to be wrongful and that he has "full confidence" in his legal case. Edgeworth did not respond to a request for comment.

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