Tchenguiz property firms in administration after SFO raid

By Jennifer Lipman, March 15, 2011
Vincent Tchenguiz

Vincent Tchenguiz

Four firms in Vincent Tchenguiz’s property company have gone into administration less than a week after the tycoon was arrested in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) raid.

Thousands of jobs in the Peverel group, the UK’s biggest property management company, could be at risk after the board said it could not honour £125 million debts.

The day-to-day management of the company’s 200,000 properties has not been affected by the collapse at this point.

Mr Tchenguiz, who grew up in Iran after his Jewish family fled Iraq when Israel was created, sits on the Peverel board.

Both he and his brother Robert were questioned by police and for two days had their offices searched in connection with the 2008 collapse of Icelandic banking giant Kaupthing.

Vincent Tchenguiz blamed the Peverel collapse directly on the SFO probe. His brother said yesterday that the arrests were “wrongful” and a publicity stunt.

Robert Tchenguiz threatened to take legal action if it emerged that there were “irregularities in the SFO’s conduct”.

He said: “The disproportionate and aggressive conduct of the SFO was designed to generate maximum publicity for its own ends, given its uncertain future.

“The SFO issued a press release before I had even had the opportunity to talk to my solicitor.”

Last updated: 11:26am, March 15 2011