One of Ireland’s leading property developers made a surprise public appearance at the High Court in London this morning.
The notoriously media shy Paddy McKillen is embroiled in a High Court battle over the control of Coroin, the company that owns three of London’s most famous hotels -- Claridges, the Connaught and the Berkeley.
He wants to block a "takeover plan" by Sir David Barclay and his twin brother, Sir Frederick.
Mr McKillen has taken the case in an effort to block a takeover of Coroin by the Barclays, who have bought shares in the business as well as some of its loans in a "pincer movement" to squeeze out other shareholders.
Mr McKillen’s former partner in Coroin, Derek Quinlan, will take the stand on March 30 and April 2.
Both men's personal wealth and financial affairs are set to come under intense scrutiny.
The court is seeking to understand the extent of Mr McKillen's wealth and test his ability to raise enough cash to buy Coroin if he can block the Barclays’ bid.
It also wants details of the extent to which Nama debtor Mr Quinlan's lifestyle is being supported by the Barclays, who are refusing to give evidence.
Mr McKillen has been assured that his financial details will not be made public despite being used as evidence in the case, but the case is expected to throw up a wealth of information about the recent activities of both men.
Representatives of Nama are also scheduled to give evidence.