Property  

Harlequin could owe as much as £90m to creditors

A notice published last week by Anthony Davidson and Stephen Ryman, joint administrators for Shipleys LLP, revealed that almost £90m could be owed to creditors of Harlequin Management Services (South East), who traded as Harlequin Property.

To date, claims of just over £6m have been received.

The administrators have announced a creditors meeting will take place on Friday 12 July, and published a document on 26 June outlining its proposals for the embattled firm. Mr Davidson and Mr Ryman were appointed as administrators on 3 May.

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Harlequin Property is the main sales agent for international property investment agent Harlequin, which offered Sipp investments in overseas hotel developments.

In April, following several months of speculation into the firm’s future, which included FSA alerts, and an announcement that the serious fraud office was investigating complaints into the property group, a spokesman for Harlequin Property told Financial Adviser sister publication FTAdviser, that any descent into administration would not threaten investments.

The spokesman said at the time that directors were confident they could restructure the firm while in administration.

The administrator report said directors of Harlequin claimed “a number of connected companies” owed it £86.34m. Shipleys’ summary of assets claim that just £8695 is currently available to creditors.

Background

Last month, the FCA warned investors considering paying money to any of the companies in the Harlequin group of companies “to do so with caution”, and speak to an adviser before proceeding.