Northern Ireland

Cerberus: US-based investment fund faces Belfast court challenge

The High Court in Belfast
Image caption The High Court challenge in Belfast is understood to be the first legal challenge Cerberus has faced since it began operating in Northern Ireland

A legal challenge to the conduct of the New York-based investment fund, Cerberus, will be heard at the High Court in Belfast in October.

Cerberus has a dominant position in the Northern Ireland commercial property market, having spent more than £2.5bn buying loan portfolios.

The legal challenge is being taken by Belfast businessman Gareth Graham

He is contesting the fund's right to appoint receivers and administrators to a number of his companies.

It is understood to be the first legal challenge Cerberus has faced since it began operating in Northern Ireland.

The court is due to rule on preliminary issues next week.

Enforced

Stephen Shaw QC, for Cerberus, said the two main issues were around what scope of action the receivers and administrators would have pending a trial and the matter of costs.

He told a judge that Mr Graham was seeking access to rental income from some properties that are the subject of the disputed receiverships.

Monye Anyadike-Danes QC, for Mr Graham, said the issue of whether of a court case would require oral evidence also needed to be decided.

Cerberus' business model involves borrowers rapidly repaying their loans by selling properties or finding new financial backers.

A number of borrowers have been able to reach a deal with Cerberus but it has also enforced some loans by appointing administrators or receivers.

Cerberus has previously said it has "a long and demonstrated history of treating our borrowers consistently and fairly".

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