High-flying dealmaker Amanda Staveley abandoned a £600million bailout of Greensill Capital over fears the firm and its Government ties were becoming ‘toxic’, sources told The Mail on Sunday.
Staveley’s firm entered rescue talks with Greensill shortly before it collapsed in early March. Bankers in her New York office drew up plans to provide the emergency loan to save the finance firm.
But the deal was thrown into doubt amid growing public scrutiny into Greensill’s activities and the role of its adviser, ex-Prime Minister David Cameron.
Wary: City dealmaker Amanda Staveley entered rescue talks only to walk away
It later emerged that Cameron had lobbied Chancellor Rishi Sunak by text on Greensill’s behalf to gain greater access to the Government’s emergency Covid loan schemes.
Staveley’s team at PCP approached Greensill while the company was in separate talks with US investment firm Apollo. City sources said it appeared Apollo was leading in the race to secure a deal with Greensill.
They said PCP pulled back to focus on other deals when ‘toxic’ details started circulating.
The company’s founder, Lex Greensill landed a job as a Crown Representative to advise the Government on finance in 2014.
It was later revealed he had close ties to top civil servant Jeremy Heywood and gained access to the Cabinet Office and other Government departments.
Greensill received a CBE for ‘services to the economy’ in 2017, a year before he appointed Cameron as an adviser.
Meanwhile Staveley has launched an appeal in her court battle against Barclays over her rescue of the bank during the 2008 financial crisis. The trial heard last summer of how bankers dismissed Staveley as a ‘dolly bird’ and ‘tart’ during complex negotiations for the £7billion bailout.
Meanwhile Staveley has launched an appeal in her court battle against Barclays over her rescue of the bank during the 2008 financial crisis
In February a High Court judge ruled that Barclays was guilty of ‘serious deceit’. But he dismissed Staveley’s claim, saying she would not have been able to secure proper financing for the deal. PCP filed with the Court of Appeal on Friday.
Barclays declined to comment.
PCP is also in the middle of a tense takeover bid for Newcastle Football Club. The firm is trying to secure a £300million for the deal funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
It emerged last week that the Saudi crown prince urged Boris Johnson to intervene after talks with the Premier League hit a roadblock.
The club’s fate is likely to be decided at a hearing this summer after its owner Mike Ashley launched arbitration proceedings against the Premier League.
Staveley’s associates sensed another opportunity when Greensill’s troubles piled up in February. But City financiers also learnt in early March that Bill Crothers, who was responsible for £40billion in public funds, left the civil service to work for Greensill while keeping close contact with the Cabinet Office.