I won’t give banks my £40m, says developer

Property developer Patrick McKillen has told a High Court judge in London about the hundreds of millions he had borrowed from banks.

The businessman estimated that he owed the state-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, created from the remains of Anglo Irish Bank, €300m.

He said he owed the Bank of Scotland €55m — and said he owed over £10m to at least one other bank. However, he told Mr Justice David Richards he owned assets around the world, did not miss interest payments and said banks were “very supportive”.

Mr McKillen, who comes from Belfast but is based in Dublin, also estimated that he had £40m “free cash”.

When a barrister suggested he might use that “free cash” to pay off bank loans, Mr McKillen replied: “Give them all our cash? No, I’m sorry. That’s not the way business works.”

Mr McKillen was giving evidence during a trial in London, which started after a boardroom battle over control of a company which owns three London hotels spilled into the High Court.

He says two of Britain’s best-known businessmen had “infringed and diminished” his rights as a director.

Mr McKillen says twins David and Frederick Barclay “engaged in a scheme” to take control of Coroin — the company which owns Claridge’s, the Connaught, and the Berkeley.

He took legal action claiming that he had been a victim of “unlawfulness” and “unfairly prejudicial conduct”.

The Barclay brothers, who own The Daily Telegraph, deny Mr McKillen’s claims and say he is trying to tarnish their reputations and embarrass them.

They say he has “no money” and does not like the possibility of being “squeezed out of Coroin because he cannot afford to stay in”.

Mr McKillen had given the bulk of his evidence earlier in the trial, which started in March.

He had wanted to give further evidence in private — saying “third parties” he had dealt with had asked for “confidentiality” — but Mr Justice David Richards ruled that yesterday’s hearing should be held in public.

The hearing continues.


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