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The Barclay brothers have paid €800m to buy three of London’s most prestigious five-star hotels.
Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley now join join the Ritz in Sir David and Sir Frederick’s London hotel empire.
The brothers, who are based in the Channel Islands, also own the Daily Telegraph.
The deal to buy the three hotels was made with the Irish National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) which was set up to handle debts created by the crash of the Irish property market in 2009.
The three hotels were bought in 2005 by an Irish property company, Maybourne Hotel Group with loans from two Irish banks, the Allied Irish Banks and Anglo Irish Bank.
The company was headed by Paddy McKillen, Derek Quinlan and Kyran McLoughlin.
When the market crashed, the loans were taken over by NAMA which has sold them on to a Barclays’ company Maybourne Finance Limited.
The purchase of the loans gives them ownership of the hotels.
In a statement, NAMA said the loans were sold for in excess of €800m “recovering 100% of the original value of the loans plus interest.”
It is the largest deal the agency has done since it was formed.
It has said it has around 850 properties for sale in the UK and Ireland. Among these are several in London including properties in Canary Wharf, Leicester Square and Bond Street.
It was revealed in January that the Barclay brothers had bought into one of the companies associated with McKillen, Misland (Cyprus) Investments, which owns 24.8% of Coroin Limited, Maybourne’s parent company.