Derek Quinlan: bowing out

At least five cash calls have been made to investors by Quinlan Private (QP) as the global property downturn forces syndicates to raise additional equity. "Five or six" cash calls have been made, the partners at the firm confirmed last week.

The company's founder Derek Quinlan stepped down last week, 20 years after founding the firm which says it has more than €11bn of assets under management on behalf of its private clients.

One of the cash calls made to investors was in relation to the purchase of 47 Marriott hotels in the UK with an Israeli partner. Five of the hotels in the £1.1bn transaction were subsequently sold on.

QP has completed more than 120 deals in the last decade and almost 40% of its assets by value are in hotels. QP paid the equivalent of €1.5m per room at then exchange rates for the Savoy Group when it acquired it in 2004 for €1.1 billion. The Savoy was subsequently sold on and the remaining hotels were rechristened the Maybourne Hotel Group. Top end hotels in Europe are currently worth about €1m per room.

QP later bought the Jury's Inns business for €1.1bn in 2007 but a senior hotel industry source said last week that they are now worth less than €600m in the current market.

Derek Quinlan's personal investments, with which QP is not involved, include a stake in the Banco Santander world headquarters in Spain and a 50% stake in Citigroup's European headquarters building in London. The value of those properties has fallen significantly since the deals were completed.

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