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January 18, 2010

Indy: Merck Finck heir contesting PB’s 1990 sale to Barclays

By Spear's

An heir to the Merck Finck & Co dynasty is contesting the 1990 sale of the German private bank to Barclays.

An heir to the Merck Finck & Co dynasty is contesting the 1990 sale of the German private bank to Barclays.

Baron Helmut von Finck has filed a claim with Munich courts claiming that the will of his deceased father, August, stipulates that the family-owned bank should remain independent and that he should have received billions as his inheritance rather than the millions agreed with his half-brothers.

“The last will of my father was to hold the family empire together,” Baron von Finck told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Now he wants his two half-brothers to be disinherited by the courts “because they broke with the terms of my father’s will in selling Merck Finck & Co to Barclays”.

Baron von Finck further aims to prove that he was not in a fit state to sign the 1985 contract which bought out his entitlement to one-third of his father’s estate, worth billions, for DM65m. The implications for Barclays are unclear since Merck Finck was sold in 1999 to KBC for some £170m. Merck Finck refused to comment last week.

Baron von Finck was, by his own account, the black sheep of the family, and never spoke to his father after his 12th year. He led a wild existence in the 1980s, experimenting with LSD and group sex before joining the Bhagwan sect in the US. He ran a Munich disco called Confetti, and participated in “a mad hippie scene”. He is now a reformed character, with adult children, and he is sure that the 1985 agreement will be nullified because of his then psychological state.

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