8.00am, Titanic Room: Gloom, 40 fathoms deep. All hope for a £90m deal has just sunk like that bloody ship on the wall, along with a whale of a fee.
Team P had been working night and day to buy a clapped-out shopping centre in Essex from a fund desperate to offload before retail values sink further and faster.
My best idea of the year: level the dump and build 1,500 flats. The development appraisal threw up Moby Dick-sized margins. I’d flashed the idea in front of my man in Monaco, who fronts for Saudi money.
“The P&D team at GBH is hugger-mugger with the council,” I said, in my best confiding manner. “They happen to know that developing flats in this crap part of the borough is fine, saves making up the numbers nearer the sodding Nimbys.”
The bugger agreed a 1% fee. Unbelievable. A projected IRR of 38% helped. What could go wrong? Turns out the Saudi guy behind the Lebanese woman behind my Monégasque front man has folded his chequebook. Ructions in Riyadh over that murder in Turkey have rippled way beyond royal circles.
So our man’s family connections to power have been blown, along with the whole fuse box apparently. My man says his woman says her man wants to wait till the lights go back on – and he can see which way to jump. Too late, matey.
Now, where’s the number of my guy in Uzbekistan?