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Kaupthing Settles $2.4 Billion Tchenguiz Lawsuit on Loan Losses

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Kaupthing Bank hf agreed to settle a 1.5 billion-pound ($2.4 billion) claim brought by the Tchenguiz Family Trust over losses caused by the Icelandic bank’s collapse.

Kaupthing reached an agreement with the trust, Vincent Tchenguiz and other companies connected to the family, known for its U.K. real estate investments, for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement. Sean Bellew, a spokesman for Tchenguiz declined to comment on the settlement’s value because the terms are confidential.

“I am delighted that we have been able to bring this complex matter to a satisfactory conclusion and to have dispensed with all the uncertainties which have proved so restricting,” Tchenguiz said in the statement today.

The family had close ties with Kaupthing and suffered what Vincent Tchenguiz described as “massive losses” when the bank failed in October 2008. U.K. regulators are investigating loan deals struck between Kaupthing and Vincent Tchenguiz and his brother Robert. The settlement will help Kaupthing’s creditors, Vincent Tchenguiz said in the statement.

Kaupthing, based in Reykjavik, confirmed a settlement had been reached and the Tchenguiz Family Trust had withdrawn its claims in a statement on its website.

In a separate claim, a trust controlled by Robert is suing Kaupthing to recoup losses of 330.7 million pounds from a failed loan deal. His spokeswoman, Julia Fea, didn’t immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment on the status of that case.

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office arrested the brothers in March as part of an investigation into why investors took large loans from Kaupthing days before it collapsed. Four of Vincent’s companies were forced into administration because of the probe, he said in March. The family is seeking a judicial review into whether the SFO’s actions were legal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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