Ex-Tchenguiz property firm in £62m deal

THE property management company run by Vincent Tchenguiz before he became embroiled in a fraud probe has been rescued from administration in a £62m deal.

Peverel has been taken over by private equity houses Chamonix and Electra Partners, who said they would secure more than 4,200 jobs.

It comes nearly a year after the holding companies of Peverel, which looks after around 190,000 residential and retirement units, were placed in administration following the arrest of Vincent Tchenguiz, his brother, Robert, and seven other people in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into the collapse of Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank.

At the time Vincent Tchenguiz said he had no choice but to call in administrator Zolfo Cooper after Bank of America Merrill Lynch demanded repayment within 24 hours of a £124.6m loan plus £11.4m in accrued interest.

The brothers were released without charge by the SFO and last month won the right for a judicial review of the circumstances surrounding their arrest. The hearing is due to begin in May.

Yesterday’s deal will see Peverel’s debt pile cut by £100m to £25m.

Janet Entwistle (pictured), the former managing director of BT Fleet, has been appointed chief executive and Paul Lester, the former head of VT Group, the support services firm, becomes non-executive chairman.

Peverel has previously faced claims of poor service and yesterday Entwistle said: “This transaction marks a new beginning for Peverel”.

Vincent Tchenguiz bought Peverel from its US owner Holiday Retirement Corporation in 2007, funding the purchase with £500m finance from Merrill Lynch, before the US bank was taken over by Bank of America.