Saudi owner of London’s most expensive home sued over alleged unpaid private jet bills

A Saudi prince whose palatial London home was back on the market for £250 million is being sued by a second lender over alleged missed payments on a private Boeing 787 jet.

An Irish subsidiary of China Minsheng Bank is claiming at least £30 million in unpaid bills and interest on business jets leased by the Bermuda-based company in 2017 under the personal guarantee of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Saud. financial Times. The lender is seeking to enforce the judgment against The Holme, a Regent’s Park mansion, arguing that the prince is among its true beneficial owners.

The house has been put up for sale on the instructions of a receiver appointed by another lender after the loan of around £150 million expired. If a deal is confirmed, the asking price of £250 million would make it the most expensive residence ever sold in London.

The controversy surrounding the house has provided insight into the behavior of wealthy foreign investors in London’s high estates and highlighted the financial crisis facing members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

According to court documents, the lender’s claim against Prince Khalid stems from a personal guarantee he provided through Bermuda-based Dream Aircraft to lease the modified Boeing jet. The activity company named Yuntian 10, a subsidiary of China Minsheng, one of the country’s largest private lenders, filed the court claim after Dream Aircraft stopped making lease payments in 2020.

The finances of members of the Saudi royal family have come under pressure from the kingdom’s day-to-day ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. An adviser to the Saudi royals said Prince Khalid’s “financial circumstances changed massively” when Riyadh launched what he described as an anti-corruption campaign in 2017. As part of this operation, around 300 princes, businessmen and others were detained at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. , although Prince Khalid was not. The advisor said Holme is one of his last major properties overseas.

A Sandhurst-trained general, Prince Khalid was deputy defense minister when Riyadh launched a military intervention against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen in 2009. He also owned the now-defunct pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Hayat.

Prince Khalid could not be reached for comment.

Court records show the lender has secured a judgment against Dream Aircraft and the prince, which is worth more than £30 million, in July 2022. Last year Union applied to the court to enforce the judgment against The Holme. The leasehold of the property is owned by the Guernsey company Quendon. The matter is going on in the High Court.

Yuntian claims that Prince Khalid “intended to be the beneficial owner of the property; and one of the reasons . . .[he]The acquisition of the property through Quandon was done to conceal his ongoing beneficial ownership and control of the property”.

In court filings, Quandon denied that Yuntian could make a claim against the home’s value and that Prince Khalid was among its beneficial owners. The company lists five of Prince Khalid’s children as beneficial owners in Companies House records.

The company said Holme was “purchased through a legitimate tax efficient asset holding structure established on professional advice, and managed by professionals to ensure the future use and enjoyment of the asset.” [Prince Khaled] and members of his family”.

Yuntian declined to comment. Quandon’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

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