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New twist in Barclays saga as Staveley sues for £1bn

A long history of dispute over what the Gulf-based adviser should be paid for her role in helping the UK bank raise capital during the financial crisis, first revealed by Euromoney, has been revived – and escalated – by a new claim lodged in the UK High Court.

by Eric Ellis

Amanda Staveley 2016 use-R-600

Gulf-based deal adviser Amanda Staveley

News that Gulf-based deal adviser Amanda Staveley has launched a claim for up to £1 billion against Barclays over her role in the bank’s emergency capital raising in 2008 reopens a sore that now irritates a new generation of leaders at the UK bank.

The Financial Times reported on Friday that Staveley’s company, PCP Capital Partners, filed suit in London’s High Court claiming damages because of PCP’s role as an investor, as well as an adviser to both Qatari- and Abu Dhabi-based funds, a claim that Barclays says it will fight.

The role of Staveley in the £5.8 billion capital raises has been the subject of intense dispute and speculation over the past seven years.

In May 2013, Euromoney published an exclusive article based on papers seen by the magazine, which revealed for the first time the extent of Staveley and PCP’s involvement, and the drawn-out row over the compensation they received.

On April 30, 2009, Staveley and her then business partner, London-based lawyer Craig Eadie, were informed that the sum of £29.5 million had been deposited in her account.

First light

Euromoney’s disclosures cast the first light on what happened to £110 million in fees paid by Barclays nominally to Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had invested £3.5 billion in Barclays, but in reality were fought over by a cast of advisers, associates and family members, of which Staveley was a major beneficiary.

The £29.5 million appeared to be considerably less than Staveley believed she deserved.

However, correspondence seen by Euromoney between the various Barclays players show that Staveley’s relations with the Abu Dhabi camp has deteriorated since the capital injection. At one point, just before Christmas 2008, Staveley was given a deadline by her Abu Dhabi interlocutor to accept just £5 million, or nothing at all.

Documents seen by Euromoney revealed the complexity of Mansour’s investment, involving a series of shelf companies called PCP Gulf Invest 1, 2 and 3 first set up in Staveley and Eadie’s names, that were then transferred into Abu Dhabi’s beneficial ownership.

It is possible these vehicles form the basis of Staveley’s claim she was an investor as well as an adviser in the capital raise. In that context, the sum claimed of close to £1 billion, which includes interest expenses, should be seen in light of the £3 billion that Sheikh Mansour made from his investments over a two-year period.

The claim is a further headache for new Barclays CEO Jes Staley.

Barclays says in a statement. “We believe the claim against Barclays is misconceived and without merit, and Barclays will be vigorously defending it.”

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