Kaupthing creditors fear Investec intends to walk away from £150m debt

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2014-04-05 23

Investec, the FTSE 250 banking and asset management group, is preparing to walk away from a debt of about £150m owed by one of its offshore businesses, according to those chasing the money on behalf of creditors to the failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

The debt, equivalent to almost 40% of the Anglo-South African group's profits for 2013, is an unintended legacy of Investec's administration of a hugely complex offshore trust on behalf of Robert Tchenguiz, one of London's most active corporate raiders before the 2008 banking crisis.

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In January a court in the Channel Islands found that an Investec subsidiary, Investec Trust Guernsey (ITG), must be held liable for some of the borrowings Tchenguiz had taken on, through his trust, to finance investments. Investec is appealing against the judgment.

With remaining assets in the trust – Tchenguiz's home, his office in Mayfair and several other properties – estimated by creditors to be worth about £30m, the shortfall on the £180m owing to Kaupthing is likely to be enormous.

Tchenguiz is not personally liable for the shortfall. He is appealing against the Guernsey court's decision affirming Kaupthing's claim over trust assets.
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