Barclays win court battle for Maybourne hotels

Exterior of Claridge's.
Exterior of Claridge’s.

David and Frederick Barclay won a U.K. court battle with Paddy McKillen over ownership of the Maybourne Hotel Group portfolio, which includes the iconic London hotels Claridge’s, the Berkeley and Connaught.

On Wednesday Judge David Neuberger ruled that NAMA’s sale of the debt to the Barclays was legitimate and denied McKillen’s request for the U.K. Supreme Court to appeal the decision. While other aspects of the case await additional court proceedings, this marks a key victory for the Barclays in the legal battle. 

Ireland’s bank designated to hold underwater property loans, NAMA (National Asset Management Agency), sold more than €800 million (US$1.1 billion) of debt held by Maybourne’s parent company Coroin in September. However, McKillen sued, alleging that as a 36% shareholder in the portfolio he was not given proper notification of the sale. NAMA officials said the short notice for Irish developer McKillen about the sale of the £660 million (US$1 billion) loan was justified as McKillen had no power to stop the transfer.

The Barclay twins, two 76-year-old Scottish billionaire brothers, also own Britain’s Daily Telegraph and the 5-star Ritz hotel in London.

The three hotels are operated by Maybourne Hotel Group, London, which is controlled by Irish businessman Derek Quinlan.