Friday 15 December 2017

Trial date set for court action by investor McKillen against Anglo

Belfast developer Paddy McKillen
Belfast developer Paddy McKillen

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE High Court has set a trial date next year for an court action by property investor Paddy McKillen against the former Anglo Irish Bank over the planned sale of a tranche of his loans.

This morning, High Court judge Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard there was an agreement as to how the matters would progress.

Senior Counsel Michael Cush, for Mr McKillen, proposed a trial date of Tuesday March 4th next.

The trial date lies between the day the liquidator of the IBRC (formerly Anglo) will make his decision on the successful bidder and the completion of any transaction.

Mr Cush said that the action "may be moot" if the London based billionaire Barclay brothers are not the successful bidders.

The Court heard that there is no independent cause of action against the liquidators of the IBRC. This is because Mr McKillen is not trying to prevent IRBC selling the loans but is seeking an injunction preventing the Barclay brothers from buying them.

The injunction sought by Mr McKillen is the latest development in a long running row over the sale of the Belfast born businessman's loans which are part of the IBRC's loan portfolio.

Last month Mr McKillen lost the final stage in his stg£20million court battle in London against the billionaire Barclay brothers for control of three of the city's luxury hotels.

The court action comes as Mr McKillen has separately complained that "inexplicable behaviour" by an officer of crisis rocked NAMA has "seriously jeopardised" his business interests.

Political pressure has mounted in recent days on the secretive state property agency for full disclosure of alleged suspicious transactions by its former officials.

This morning, Mr Cush said it was no longer necessary to join the State defendants in the proceedings.

In an earlier affidavit (court statement) grounding the injunction proceedings, Mr Killen said it was necessary to bring the proceedings "to protect my commercial interests and my constitutional rights relating to property."

Mr McKillen contends a  good faith provision  in the shareholders agreement of the holding company - Coroin Ltd - which owns the luxury hotels means he is entitled to stop the IBRC liquidator accepting an offer from the Barclays.

In his affidavit, Mr McKillen said he sought an order legally impeding IBRC from treating the personal loans tranche as anything  other than loans of a fixed three year period from December 2012 and which required reasonable notice of 24 months for any transfer or sale of them.

Mr McKillen said he had been a customer of IBRC - the former Anglo Irish Bank- for over 20 years and has numerous performing loans including loans of €241million relating to his interest in the Jervis St car park Dublin; loans of €308million relating to his interest inproperties in Doncaster, UK and personal loans amounting to over €246million.

He said the personal loans remained secured by a charge on certain assets including shares in Coroin Ltd, the holding company which owns London hotels Claridge's; the Connaught and the Berkeley Hotel.

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