Myers set to buy Imry off Barclays

One of Britain's leading property developers is set to cash in for a second time on the company that forced Barclays Bank to write-off a record pounds 200m, victim of the biggest-ever default on a property loan.

Martin Myers is planning to buy Imry, one of the best-known property developers to spring up in the late-1980s property boom, from Barclays, eight years after netting pounds 15m from its sale to a heavily indebted company backed by the bank. Barclays was left owning Imry after Marketchief, the company to which it lent pounds 200m at the peak of the last property cycle, collapsed.

As well as the pounds 15m he made in 1989 when he and fellow developer Martin Landau sold Imry for pounds 314m to Marketchief, Mr Myers has struck a secret deal with the bank which will give him a further unspecified payout on the final unwinding of Imry, which he has managed throughout the various phases of its ownership. It is understood he will receive that incentive even if he himself is the ultimate buyer of the company.

If Mr Myers is successful in his bid to buy what remains of Imry after the sale last month of most of its assets to Rodamco, a Dutch property company, he may stand to make a third fortune from the company if he is successful in building it up and selling or floating it on the stock market.

The proposed deal would give Mr Myers control of a planned pounds 250m shopping centre development in Southampton, that has yet to be built, and an investment portfolio worth an estimated pounds 118m. Last month, Imry's other assets, including the Shires shopping centre in Leicester and Distillers House, an office block in Hammersmith, were sold to Rodamco for pounds 249m.

Barclays, which has always made clear that it was only holding Imry for resale under the management of Mr Myers, was originally negotiating a sale of the whole of Imry to Rodamco, but Chris Bartram, head of the Dutch company's UK arm, pulled out only hours before the signing of final contracts.

He is understood to have had second thoughts about the value of the Southampton development. Chelsfield, another potential buyer of Imry, also pulled out of negotiations after due diligence on the Southampton site.

A Barclays spokesman would not comment on any incentive payments it plans to make to Mr Myers on the final disposal of Imry nor on whether it was negotiating a sale to him. The bank simply said it was no longer in discussions with Rodamco, which was rumoured to have re-opened negotiations over the Imry assets it failed to buy last month.

The imminent resolution of Barclays' Imry problem will bring to an end one of the bank's most embarrassing loans. When Imry was sold to Marketchief it was making profits of only pounds 22m but Barclays was prepared to lend pounds 200m to an acquisition vehicle that required upwards of pounds 50m a year simply to service its debts.

When the assumptions on which Marketchief was premised - falling interest rates and rising asset values which would allow disposals to fund debt repayments - failed to materialise, the company went under. It had been set up with just pounds 5m of equity and more than pounds 300m of debt.

Barclays was the most active bank in the fevered property lending market of the late 1980s, specialising in so-called relationship banking in which it backed such individuals as Gerald Ronson, of Heron International and Speyhawk's Trevor Osborne.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living