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Plenty of problems for St Quinton to tackle - Telegraph

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    Plenty of problems for St Quinton to tackle

    The Qatari royal family might feel like it has taken a bit of a roasting from Prince Charles and his architect friends over the Chelsea Barracks site but, before it feels too sorry for itself, it might take a look at goings-on elsewhere in the commercial property world.

    Edited by Dashwood

    7:41PM BST 13 Jun 2009

    Dashwood hears of the sorry demise of Capital City Developments, a London-focused developer part-owned by Martin St Quinton, the technology millionaire turned Gloucester Rugby Club part-owner and deputy chairman.

    Capital City went into administration earlier this month after Royal Bank of Scotland called in its loans to the property company.

    A spokesman for the administrator tells Dashwood that RBS called in a "six-figure" amount, leaving the Government-controlled bank in pocket. The effect on St Quinton and fellow shareholders remains less clear but Dashwood would wager that Capital City's property portfolio is not quite what it used to be.

    St Quinton, who made his millions after selling technology company Azzurri Communication in the early 1990s, bought a 25pc stake in Gloucester last year for a reported £3m but has found the going tough.

    The club recently ditched its coach following a run of poor results and fans have expressed their displeasure accordingly. They say when it rains, it pours. Smallbone is not small change

    Barclays executives might be sitting there feeling rather pleased with themselves after sealing the Blackrock deal last week but not everything is sweetness and light.

    The UK bank was the biggest creditor to Smallbone, the Wiltshire-based kitchen company that went into administration in March, and has been left with a rather nasty bill as a result.

    Smallbone owed the Bald Eagle some £13m when it went under and the word from the administrators is likely to ruffle some feathers. "The bank will suffer a large shortfall against its outstanding indebtedness," according to officials at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    You win some, you lose some.

    Ambassador Blank in Shanghai surprise

    Sir Victor Blank has not taken long to move on from the announcement that he is to step down as chairman of Lloyds Banking Group.Dashwood hears that Sir Victor has spent the past few days in China in his role as a Business Ambassador for Britain, advising bodies including the Shanghai Institute for Foreign Studies on the prospects for the City and China's own leading financial centre.

    Sniggers from The Body

    "There are only so many times that one can suffer the humiliation of supermodel Elle Macpherson's laughter every time one falls over, which, in the writer's case, was quite a lot."

    When Dashwood read a note from Jeremy Batstone-Carr, research head at Charles Stanley last week, that was not a confession he expected.

    Stressed by recent events, Batstone-Carr took up yoga to find some "inner calm", but quickly gave it up as the sniggers grew.

    Apparently he couldn't master balancing on one foot while squatting, with hands together as if in prayer.

    Dashwood suspects that having a supermodel in the room didn't help. Elle, needless to say, could do it flawlessly.

    No special treatment for the boss

    It was a family affair at a charity drinks reception held last week by Roland Rudd, the Finsbury PR guru.

    Rudd's 10-year old son Ollie hosted the auction in aid of NSPCC, the children's charity, while the star prize was a bespoke dress designed by the spinner's wife, Sophie. Still in the early days of his career as a auctioneer, Ollie played it hard and fast. In the midst of the bidding for the dress, Rudd minor spotted a nod from a certain Sir Martin Sorrell, standing with his wife Cristiana Falcone, both pictured right.

    "Him. Him over there," cried the young Ollie, gesturing at the Knight of the Realm.

    The lot was won for an eye-catching £1,350 and the glamourous Cristiana will have another gown to add to her collection.

    Meanwhile, Ollie was presumably quite oblivious to the fact that Sir Martin, as chief executive of WPP, is Rudd senior's boss.

    The benefit of youth.

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