DON’T BELIEVE the “tittle tattle” you read in the gossip columns, says Brocket Hall owner Dieter Klostermann, who yesterday turned to this gossip column to put the record straight about that feud with Lord Charlie Brocket.
Klostermann’s leisure group CCA International bought Brocket Hall in 1996, after Brocket was jailed for a £4.5m classic cars insurance scam.
So relations between the two men were never going to be easy – and they were tested still further when rumours surfaced that Brocket, reportedly appalled by the deterioration of the estate, intends to win back his ancestral home. But Klostermann insists “there is no battle”.
For starters, he said, “there is nothing wrong with the grand piano” – a reference to Steinway-gate, after Brocket claimed the antique showpiece had been damaged by the new landlords. “Our finance director Jim Moore said he was not aware of any damage to the quality of the sound, and there is nothing wrong with the appearance.
“The estate is a showcase,” continued the chief of CCA International, reeling off a list of his company’s £12m investments in Brocket Hall, including refurbished bathrooms, the new 18-hole golf course and the Michelin-starred Auberge du Lac.
And what of the reports that CCA International is experiencing cash-flow difficulties? Matters have improved since the last published accounts for 2009, which showed a £900,000 pre-tax loss, insisted Klostermann, pointing out that the firm was “back in the black” in 2010 and “ahead of budget” for 2011.
Which brings The Capitalist to the final point: as long as CCA has enough money to pay its rent on time, the lease on the property cannot legally be cut short before its expiry date in 2056.
No chance of Brocket, 59, reclaiming his ancestral home then, if Klostermann has anything to do with it. “Our interest remains long term,” he said. “Brocket and I will both have joined the big club in the sky by the time the lease on the Hall runs out.”
THE NAME of the event alone is worth a diary story: How to Become a Tycoon Woman, a seminar designed to let the City’s power ladies join the ranks of Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts and Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Massenet.
Exactly how to achieve that will be revealed by Olamide Agbaimoni, who specialises in helping women become “the creators of their own wealth”.
Free to all, the talk will be held from 2.30-4.30pm on 12 September at the City Business Library in the Guildhall Complex at 5 Aldermanbury. Form an orderly queue.