The Court of Appeal has ordered multi-millionaire heiress Elena Bowes Marano, daughter of the late Hula Hoop and Frisbee magnate John Bowes, to cough up £5 million to cover half of the losses suffered by her ex-husband Peter Marano following a slump in the City of London property market.
The Telegraph reports Ms. Bowes Marano has a personal fortune of more than £19 million and Mr. Marano is a property speculator and chairman of Gemini Commercial Investments.
Apparently Mr. Marano's equity in two office blocks located at Nine Appold Street and One Snowden Street in London's Square Mile went from £88 million in the black to £10 million in the red between February 2007 and March 2009.
Counsel for Mrs. Marano, Nicholas Mostyn QC, argued an award of £5 million to cover his losses was "unfair", however, since it would be Mr. Marano's "last act on earth" to ever sell the blocks at a loss.
The Court of Appeal disagreed. It highlighted loans backing the development will expire in 2011 and 2013, and the bank must be repaid £136 million. Unless Mr. Marano can reschedule the loans, he will have to sell the property.
To return a profit, Mr. Marano will not only have to keep the banks "onside", there must also be a "dramatic turnaround in the market".
The court also noted Mr. Marano had already let the office development on "settled terms" and no amount of "acumen or genius" on Mr, Marano's part could improve his fortunes.
Mr. Marano was reportedly cock-a-hoop about the victory.
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