Tchenguiz sttles £1.5bn dispute with Kaupthing


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The Independent Online

The property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz has settled his £1.5bn dispute with the collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which has seen him regain control of a string of property assets.

Mr Tchenguiz, his Euro Group business and the trustees of the Tchenguiz Family Trust announced yesterday they had reached an agreement "to settle all claims" brought against Kaupthing, which is currently being wound up. Mr Tchenguiz said he was "delighted that we have been able to bring this complex matter to a satisfactory conclusion".

The move is expected to pave the way for Mr Tchenguiz to refinance a £2bn debt pile, while it also raised questions over the strength of allegations from the Serious Fraud Office against the property investor as part of its investigation into Kaupthing's collapse.

Kaupthing went into administration in October 2008. The Tchenguiz Family Trust, among others, submitted claims to the bank's winding-up committee as a priority creditor.

The committee rejected its claims, which prompted the trust to submit dual civil claims against Kaupthing in England and Iceland.

Kaupthing had lent Mr Tchenguiz £100m as part of a £2bn debt package that he has been unable to refinance without settling with the Icelandic bank. The case related to assets used as collateral against the loan. The collapse of the bank saw the ground rents on as many as 250,000 residential properties in effect frozen.

Mr Tchenguiz, who is the chairman of Consensus Business Group, said: "All the parties have had to take some very public steps in the wake of the collapse of Kaupthing, in 2008, in order to protect their respective legal rights.

The settlement brings to an end the trust's actions in both jurisdictions, including the claims against Kaupthing's estate in Iceland.