Derek Quinlan: Barclay brothers eyeing his investment

The Barclay brothers, who are best known in this country for their ownership of the Littlewoods mail order business, have bought out one of the investors in the Maybourne Hotel Group and are looking to do deals with the other Irish investors. The group comprises the Berkeley, Connaught and Claridge's hotels and was bought by Avestus, then known as Quinlan Private, for €1.1bn in 2004.

Sky reported on Friday that David and Frederick Barclay, who own the Daily Telegraph, had agreed to buy the Green family out of the business and were looking to buy out others including Paddy McKillen and Derek Quinlan.

They already own the Ritz hotel in London, which could be bolted on to the luxury hotel group.

Previous talks by Avestus with the Qatari government had broken down but rumours in Dublin last week suggested that the company was in another exclusive talks period. The Dublin sources however had thought that the talks with the Qataris had recommenced.