John Magnier’s legal team will claim that Barne Estate’s owners breached an exclusivity agreement between the Coolmore boss and Barne Estate Limited, in new court filings expected this week, the Irish Farmers Journal understands.

The Coolmore team will allege that by entertaining offers from construction millionaire Maurice Regan to buy the Tipperary estate, the Barne Estate side broke the agreement.

The Magnier team, representing John Magnier, his son John Paul Magnier, and daughter Katherine Wachman, are also expected to seek damages for the alleged breach.

The exclusivity agreement applied from 31 August to 30 September. During this time, Barne Estate’s owners were prohibited from considering offers from anyone other than Coolmore. John Magnier had agreed to pay €15m for the 751ac residential estate at a dinner on 22 August.

Higher bid

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the legal documents allege that auctioneer John Stokes, sometime in late August, told John Magnier that Barne had received a substantially higher bid from Regan and also allege that Regan made several offers to purchase the estate during the period of exclusivity.

It’s also understood that Coolmore will claim that Maurice Regan told Katherine Wachman’s husband, David Wachman, on 29 August that he would pay an additional €5m more than the price agreed by John Magnier to ensure that Magnier’s deal would not go ahead.

Regan, who owns Newtown Anner Stud just a few miles from both Coolmore House and Barne Estate, has since agreed to buy Barne Estate for €22.5m. That proposed sale will depend on the outcome of the current High Court proceedings.

Auction and solar panels

The Magniers’ amended claim is also expected to highlight additional evidence that they believe points to the 22 August €15m handshake deal as being binding.

This includes that Richard Thomson-Moore asked John Magnier for permission to auction the contents of Barne House, and that Thomson-Moore directed a solar energy company to contact Coolmore regarding a proposal to erect solar panels on the land.

The Coolmore team is also expected to refer to a second sales advice note which they say acknowledges the existence of a binding agreement to sell Barne Estate for €15m to the Magniers.

A spokesperson for Coolmore declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Farmers Journal.