Advertisement
UK markets open in 4 hours 44 minutes
  • NIKKEI 225

    39,669.53
    +70.53 (+0.18%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    17,587.27
    -48.61 (-0.28%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    79.95
    +0.17 (+0.21%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,403.10
    +8.40 (+0.35%)
     
  • DOW

    40,415.44
    +127.91 (+0.32%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    52,077.63
    -405.66 (-0.77%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,386.80
    -18.54 (-1.32%)
     
  • NASDAQ Composite

    18,007.57
    +280.63 (+1.58%)
     
  • UK FTSE All Share

    4,495.46
    +22.02 (+0.49%)
     

Private investigators hired to track down Telegraph co-owner in Monaco

Monaco
After weeks of searching, investigators found Alistair Barclay in the heart of Monaco - photovideostock/iStockphoto

Bankers turned to private investigators to track down one of the owners of The Telegraph in Monaco as part of a bid to have him declared bankrupt.

According to High Court documents, Investec drafted in “tracing agents” to find Alistair Barclay, 34, who had been “actively avoiding service since November 2023”.

After weeks of searching, Investec discovered Mr Barclay was living in a seafront tower block called Le Roccabella, where Sir Philip Green reportedly owns a penthouse.

The building, located in the heart of Monaco on Princess Avenue, boasts a heated 25-metre swimming pool, a concierge, a children’s nursery and a gym.

ADVERTISEMENT

Details of the search for Mr Barclay have emerged as part of an ongoing legal case triggered by Investec issuing a bankruptcy petition against him last year. This relates to unpaid debts of almost £1m, court papers show.

A hearing was held in the High Court last week to consider the petition against Mr Barclay, during which Investec claimed the Telegraph co-owner appears to own an array of UK assets.

This includes a £10,000 loan to a company called “Dangerous Don Limited” and a multimillion-pound property in Mayfair – which is owned through a chain of companies.

Since hiring the investigators, Investec discovered Mr Barclay, the youngest of Sir David Barclay’s four sons, has been renting the Monaco apartment with his mother after selling a townhouse in Chester Square, Belgravia.

Rocabella
Alistair Barclay has been living in Le Roccabella with his mother

As part of Investec’s argument, it claimed investigators discovered that Mr Barclay “regularly moves addresses – apparently for tax reasons”.

The bank said: “The debtor has been actively avoiding service since November 2023. He has refused to provide an address for service and has instructed his accountants not to disclose his address.”

Mr Barclay has enlisted insolvency experts at Begbies Traynor to explore a so-called individual voluntary arrangement with creditors.

This has led to the bankruptcy hearing being delayed until a future date.

As part of its submissions, Investec sought to alert the court to Mr Barclay’s current financial position, claiming he still has “substantial assets in the UK”.

The bank highlighted Mr Barclay’s involvement in various property companies, the estate agent Yopa and a Swedish start-up.

It said: “While the debtor has resigned all his directorships in the Yopa group, he continues to be involved in the management of another estate agency named Hillgate Management.

“Hillgate Management is a Barclay family company, albeit one founded by Sir Frederick and David Barclay rather than the debtor.”

It is against the Hillgate entity that Mr Barclay secured a separate £23.5m banking facility with Deutsche Bank.

Investec said this loan was secured “to fund certain investment opportunities”, adding that “this is another example of the debtor incurring personal liability to fund his UK businesses”.

The dispute comes amid broader questions about the Barclay family’s finances.

Last week, a £278m black hole emerged in The Telegraph’s finances as a result of loans extracted by the family, which are unlikely to ever be repaid.

Alongside his older half-brothers Aidan and Howard, Alistair Barclay forms part of a trio which controls the bulk of the family’s business interests via an offshore trust. This includes The Telegraph, The Spectator and online retailer Very.

They are the current owners of The Telegraph but have no control over it. RedBird IMI acquired the option to take ownership last year but was blocked by the Government from doing so over press freedom fears. On Friday RedBird IMI put the business up for sale again.

Alistair first came to prominence in 2020 when he was accused of installing a bugging device in a private area of the Ritz hotel, which the family owned and was used by Sir Frederick Barclay for business meetings.

Investec declined to comment. Mr Barclay was approached for comment.