The curse of Greybull: Private equity brothers bought British Steel for £1

Marc Meyohas of Greybull Capital stands in front of the British Steel sign, 2016

Marc Meyohas of Greybull Capital stands in front of the British Steel sign, 2016

Greybull Capital, the private equity firm which bought British Steel for a token £1 in 2016 has a track record of investing in high-profile businesses that then close.  

It was set up by secretive French brothers Nathaniel Meyohas, 46, and Marc Meyohas, 43, in 2010 to invest the wealth of two families - the Perlhagens and the Meyohases.

They have bought into a number of troubled businesses, with their most notable failure until now being Monarch Airlines.

The airline left more than 100,000 tourists stranded after it went bust with debts of almost £500 million, at an estimated cost of £60 million to the taxpayer. Nearly 1,900 workers were made redundant.

It held on to Monarch's engineering arm, Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd, until January when that unit also slid into administration with the loss of 408 jobs.

British authorities were forced to step in and help more than 100,000 holidaymakers get home - reportedly the biggest repatriation since World War Two.

Greybull Capital are the private equity firm who bought British Steel for a token £1 in 2016 (pictured: Nathaniel Meyohas, former partner at Greybull Capital)

Greybull Capital are the private equity firm who bought British Steel for a token £1 in 2016 (pictured: Nathaniel Meyohas, former partner at Greybull Capital)

The repatriation cost the taxpayer an estimated £60 million, the Times reported. Greybull had pumped £125million into Monarch in 2014 with hopes of preventing it from failure.

Greybull was also a leading backer in OpCapita's acquisition of electrical retailer Comet in 2012 for £2.

A year later, the British retailer, which had 236 stores and employed 7,000 staff, collapsed into administration and closed all of its outlets after a restructuring programme failed to deliver profitability.

The collapse left the taxpayer with a reported £23million bill. 

The Comet investment was seen as a dark period for Greybull, with some accusing it of profiting while workers were made redundant.

Marc Meyohas had said: 'We are sorry for what happened to Comet. It's annoying to be referred to as guys involved with that. We had a tiny holding and no board position, so had little control.'

Another notable failure was the My Local convenience store chain, which was bought from Morrisons by a team led by retail entrepreneur Mike Greene, and backed by Greybull, for £25 million in 2015.

The chain was rebranded as My Local, but dived into administration in June 2016, resulting in the closure of 90 stores with more than 1,200 employees laid off.

Pictured: Greybull Capital's office in London's Knightsbridge. Greybull had pumped £125million into Monarch in 2014 with hopes of preventing it from failure

Pictured: Greybull Capital's office in London's Knightsbridge. Greybull had pumped £125million into Monarch in 2014 with hopes of preventing it from failure

Greybull also oversaw the collapse of sports bar and snooker hall brand Rileys, which it purchased through a pre-pack administration in 2012.

The fund shed around half of the group's sites to drive profitability,

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