McKillen’s dealings with financiers from across the globe as he sought to raise finance to purchase a further stake in the hotel group was the subject of much of the hearing this week. Among the friends who McKillen said “would have delivered” financially were Bahamas resident investor Joe Lewis, an associate of Dermot Desmond and John Magnier, and Denis O’Brien, “the world’s greatest telecom entrepreneur”, as McKillen described him.
The court heard details of how, throughout 2011, McKillen interacted with some of the world’s wealthiest investors and private equity houses in his bid to secure finance. Among these were Och-Ziff, the US hedge fund which is believed to have been involved in the short-selling of Irish financial stocks in 2008. The court heard that Tom Browne, former head of lending with Anglo Irish Bank introduced McKillen to Och-Ziff. The court had previously heard that Browne had helped arrange the original loan for the redevelopment of the Connaught hotel.
McKillen also held discussions with Singapore tycoon Ong Ben Seng, the owner of the Hilton in Singapore and the Metropolitan Hotel in Park Lane in London.
Other names mentioned during evidence included Walter Kwok, the billionaire owner of the Four Seasons and IFG in Hong Kong.
The court heard Kwok has since been arrested on alleged charges of corruption. Overall, however, it is Paddy McKillen’s relationship with IBRC that is perhaps most interesting. During the hearing on Thursday McKillen repeatedly stressed the strength of this relationship, noting that he is in text contact and speaks once a week to chief executive Mike Aynsley.