Celtic Tiger property investor Derek Quinlan has declared himself bankrupt in a London court and still owes some of the debt it took on from the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).
Once one of Ireland’s richest men, Quinlan was Nama’s biggest debtor when it was founded in 2009, owing billions from failed property deals across Europe.
The financier, known for acquiring a number of marquee properties including the Savoy Hotel Group and Canada Square in London’s Docklands, filed a motion with the court after a three-year dispute with Edgeworth Capital.
Edgeworth had acquired part of Mr Quinlan’s debt in connection with his €1.9 billion purchase of the Banco Santander office complex in Madrid using funds from the Royal Bank of Scotland – at the time the largest real estate transaction in Europe.
The investment fund, owned by Robert Tchenguiz, has been trying to force Mr Quinlan into bankruptcy since 2019 and successfully called a hearing on the matter last month, but Mr Quinlan has instead declared himself bankrupt.
Mr Quinlan, who is 75, said in a statement that Nama’s refusal to settle his dealings with the agency meant he was unable to resume his career and therefore unable to fund his defense of Edgeworth’s action.
“Accordingly, I had no choice but to request the court to exercise its discretion to issue a bankruptcy order against me,” the statement said.
“However, it should be emphasized that I do not join Tchenguiz’s bankruptcy filing and the filing’s alleged debts; and the grounds on which the request was made remain controversial.”
Mr Quinlan said he had worked with his bankers since 2009 to raise more than £3.8 billion.
He said that figure represented “hundreds of millions of profits” from debt acquired by the agency at a significant discount and resold “at the wrong time”.
“This was mostly prime London property that NAMA could have sold for several hundred millions more had they waited,” he wrote.
“Had NAMA waited to sell the assets, my debt would have been repaid in full with a substantial surplus.”
Nama declined to comment at the time of publication.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/quinlan-declares-himself-bankrupt-after-13-years-in-nama-42168021.html Quinlan declares bankruptcy after 13 years in Nama