High Society

Killua Castle’s Mexican Millionaire

Lorena and Allen Krause

Lorena and Allen Krause

Lorena and Allen Krause

AN INTERESTING report in the Indo last week referred to the presence in Ireland at an event last month of the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in 2014.
He featured in a video taken by one of the guests at the knees-up in Co Meath, which was uploaded to YouTube. It gained huge attention in Spain because another of the guests spotted in the video was one Marta Gayá, his long-term mistress, although the pair had not been filmed together before.

Of more interest to Irish readers, surely, is the couple who invited the former monarch to attend – Mexican moneybags Allen Sanginés Krause and his glamorous wife, Lorena.
The former king (who is very much tabloid fodder in Spain these days) turns out to be a very good friend of financier Allen Krause, who made his initial millions with Goldman Sachs, having served as chief executive of the Latin America division, heading up Goldman Sachs Mexico. He is also chairman of a number of companies, including Millicom International Cellular, a mobile telecoms operator in the emerging markets; Pan American Goldfields; and RHL Properties, a big hotel and resort developer in Mexico.

Krause also has interests in a number of private equity vehicles, notably BK Partners, where he is also chairman, and he previously served as investment director at the giant Swedish investment house AB Kinnevik.

The Mexican (who also holds British citizenship) is a member of the boards of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and the campaign board of Historical Royal Palaces of Great Britain.

This latter involvement may reflect the fact that the Mexican financier with high-powered friends in Spain, and homes in New York and London, also happens to be the Squire of Killua Castle, Clonmellon, outside Kells in Co Meath. This impressive pile, which dates back to the 1870s, was the former seat of the Chapman family, whose seventh and final baronet, Sir Thomas Chapman, was the father of TE Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia.

Killua Castle had fallen into severe ruin when Krause and his wife bought it in 1999 and set about the mammoth and expensive restoration project, which has only recently concluded.
The couple are the shareholders in some Irish companies associated with the Killua Castle project, including Montpascal Advisory Services Ltd and Lunar Ltd, although Allen Krause is no longer listed as director, with one of his daughters, Sarah Krause, in situ since last year.

The event at which Juan Carlos popped up was the official opening of a community arts centre, which is situated in the former St John the Baptist church in Clonmellon. This property was converted into the new centre in large part due to donations from Allen and Lorena Krause and BK Partners.

It is unlikely that the couple thought they would land their old royal pal in such bother by inviting him along as a special guest. Interestingly, one Spanish media outlet, El Nacional, reported that Juan Carlos and Marta Gayá stayed on in Ireland after the opening, basing themselves in “the haunted Killua castle”. Scary stuff.

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