Beleaguered Harlequin owed £30m by property buyers

Harlequin Property claims it is currently owed £30m from purchasers on properties that have been completed and that this will provide additional revenues as it looks to inject further funding into the group following the announcement that it is set to enter administration.

A spokesperson for Harlequin told FTAdviser that the funds owed by creditors are in addition to a range of other options that have been pursued over recent months in order to boost the firm’s liquidity.

The spokesperson said the additional revenues will help progress the business forwards “over the coming months and years” and that it is currently looking at restructuring elements of its business.

Yesterday, FTAdviser reported that Harlequin Management Services (South East) Ltd, which trades as Harlequin Property, is set to enter administration after it filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator at the High Court of Justice on 22 April 2013.

A spokesperson for Harlequin said: “Harlequin is in the process of considering various means of injecting funding into the group and has been speaking with a number of individuals and businesses for some months.

“Harlequin is currently owed circa £30m from purchasers on properties that have been completed and this will provide additional revenues, above that also sought separately, in order to progress the business forwards over the coming months and years.

“Some of Harlequin’s purchasers have seen delays in delivery of their properties for a variety of reasons.

“Last month, Harlequin’s The Merricks Resort project in Barbados was finally granted full planning permission after years of protracted studies and work. It was initially anticipated that this process would be much quicker, but Harlequin has always kept purchasers updated with progress.

“In circumstances where a purchaser’s delivery date has passed, then the purchaser is entitled to ask for a refund.”

At a recent meeting with Regulatory Legal, a law firm representing a number of investors, David Ames, chairman of Harlequin, is said to have offered further clarity on how it is adjusting to recent circumstances for the best interests of the group of companies and investors.

Gareth Fatchett, partner at law firm Regulatory Legal, added: “The meeting was conducted cordially and respectfully as building a rapport in these difficult times is clearly key.

“There is no doubt in the minds of those attending on behalf of investors that Harlequin is cash starved and requires new investment. The lack of cash in the business is a key issue as without liquidity the business will continue to struggle.”