Secretive leisure billionaire Trevor Hemmings has launched a high court action against a raft of institutions, including Kuwaiti and Singaporean sovereign wealth funds, accusing them of trying to “unjustly enrich” themselves through complex litigation related to Royal Bank of Scotland’s 2008 rights issue.
Manx Capital, a vehicle controlled by Hemmings that is managing a £200m claim against RBS on behalf of thousands of shareholders, accuses 18 companies of leaving the litigation group without settling their share of the costs.
Manx is suing nine subsidiaries of Lloyds Bank, including Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical; four companies controlled by South African bank Investec; two parts of the BAE Systems pension fund; two parts of the Kuwait Investment Authority; and GIC, one of Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds.
In documents filed with the high court, Manx Capital said: “The defendants left the SG Group to join a different group – the MdR Group – but without paying their pro rata share of the costs incurred by the SG Group during their membership of that group.
“The defendants have indicated in correspondence that they are unwilling to meet their obligations in respect of their pro rata share of the costs and expense… That enrichment would be at the expense of the current SG claimants. That enrichment would be unjust… Justice requires that the defendants should bear the burden of paying their pro rata share of the costs and expenses.”
Manx Capital estimates the defendants collectively owe the litigation group they were formerly part of around £24m.
Property tycoon Hemmings owns a number of pubs, industrial property, hotels and racecourses.
In 2010, he sold Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens complex through his now-dissolved business, Leisure Parcs, to the local council in a £40m deal.
The deal put the iconic attractions in public ownership for the first time.