Developer faces €3m loss on yacht shortfall


SIMON CARSWELL, Finance Correspondent, The Irish Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DEREK QUINLAN, the financier behind the biggest purchases of the Irish property boom, has been hit with a €3 million judgment arising from a shortfall on the sale of a repossessed motor yacht.

The judgment was secured by Lombard Ireland, the finance house owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, in the High Court and will be published today in this week’s edition of Stubbs Gazette.

Mr Quinlan bought the luxury boat, a 102ft Falcon 102, for €5 million in 2007 with loans from Lombard. The vessel was repossessed by the lender last year and sold for about €2 million, leaving the businessman facing a shortfall on the remaining €3 million.

The yacht, which has a number of en-suite cabins and an area for crew below deck, was based on the Mediterranean and moored close to Mr Quinlan’s villa at Cap Ferrat near Nice on the French Riviera.

A spokeswoman for Ulster Bank, a sister company of Lombard within the RBS group, declined to comment on the judgment, citing client confidentiality.

Mr Quinlan could not be reached for comment. The businessman’s address on the judgment, which was registered on September 27th, was “La Commanderie” in Epalinges, a suburb of the city of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Mr Quinlan left Ireland for Switzerland in 2009 for personal and tax reasons. He relocated to London last year from where he has been selling assets to reduce his debts to the National Asset Management Agency and banks.

Nama, which was set up by the Government to purge the banks of toxic property loans, has been forcing borrowers to sell luxury possessions such as yachts, helicopters and jets to reduce their debts.

A collection of 14 works of art, which formed most of Mr Quinlan’s private collection, will be sold at auctions in London and New York next month.

Three houses that he owns on the upmarket Shrewsbury and Ailesbury roads in Dublin 4 are also being sold to reduce his debts.

Mr Quinlan’s Dublin home, also on Shrewsbury Road, was sold earlier this year for €7 million.

He has reduced his personal debts substantially from more than €500 million at peak through asset disposals over recent years.

It is expected that his personal debts will be reduced to less than €100 million by the end of the year, according to a well-placed source familiar with his finances.

A former tax inspector who ran an investment firm for high net-worth individuals, Mr Quinlan made waves internationally with his purchase of the Savoy Hotel Group in London for £750 million (€1.1 billion) in 2004.

Last week Nama sold €800 million of debt on the three remaining hotels in the group – Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley – to the Barclay brothers, owners of the Ritz hotel in London. Mr Quinlan still owns 35 per cent of the hotel group but the debt on his shareholding is now owned by the Barclay brothers.

Top Judgments Registered

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