Liquidation of La Dune | “Everything is settled”, maintains Louise Blouin

Quebec philanthropist Louise Blouin points to the “predatory” strategies of a private lender to explain the liquidation of La Dune, her sumptuous residential estate in the Hamptons, under Chapter 11 of the American bankruptcy law. “Everything is settled,” she nevertheless assures The Press.

Mme Blouin was the subject of a portrait recounting his “rise” and his “fall” on February 21 in the New York Times (NYT). The main interested party disputes the tone and terms of the report, which was translated into French and published by The Press three days later. ” It’s a soap operaa Netflix,” she says.

The businesswoman sent an annotated version of the NYT article to various media, in addition to attaching around twenty supporting documents. It was his team that requested an interview with The Press in order to “set the record straight” and warn against the pitfalls of real estate.

The property at the heart of the case, two villas and a huge plot of land totaling 1.6 hectares on Gin Lane in Southampton, New York, has been placed under US bankruptcy protection by two companies limited liability company managed by Mme Blouin.


Businesswoman Louise Blouin

Contacted last Thursday in Switzerland, one of the countries where she resides, Mme Blouin assured that she had not “lost everything”, as the NYT wrote. “The debt is paid, there is no bankruptcy and we are emerging from Chapter 11 with a creditor who caused a lot of problems and who wanted to receive up to 200% interest. It’s completely illegal,” she says.

The entrepreneur points the finger at lender Bay Point Advisors to explain her financial troubles, which culminated with the auction of La Dune, sold by Sotheby’s for 89 million – including some 10 million in brokerage fees – last January. The sale price turned out to be well below the assessments, around 150 million, and the sum requested in 2016, i.e. 140 million.

In 2018, Mme Blouin took out a loan of 26 million at a high interest rate from JGB Management – ​​which she also accuses of having resorted to a “fraudulent scheme” – in order to repay a loan from HSBC and to refresh La Dune in order to sell it. Bay Point assumed the debt in 2022, in addition to assuming the remaining debt from a loan made by Morgan Stanley in 2011.

Before Bay Point’s intervention, the debt reached “37 million on an estate which was worth almost 150”, argues the Quebecer. The entrepreneur estimates having lost “nearly 50 million in 15 months due to predatory behavior” which aims to “lend to own” (loan to own).

A predator does two things well. He lends you money and steals your time so that you default on your payments. He uses all means.

Louise Blouin

The sale price of 89 million for La Dune, wrote the NYT, leaves Louise Blouin in debt, since it does not cover the value of the sums owed to the creditor. “That’s incorrect,” she retorts. “I bought Southampton for 11 million and I put in 10 million. We sold it for 89 million. All debts are paid. We are in the process of disputing a certain amount because the creditor is charging too much. The judge will take care of him. I used Chapter 11 to protect myself from his behavior. »

Mme Blouin remains hopeful that the sale of the 19-room mansion and Hamptons land will net him “tens of millions, up to 25.”

Atlanta-based real estate lender Bay Point Advisors did not respond to questions from The Press at the time of writing these lines.

Gains of “400 million”

The philanthropist finds it “absurd” that there is talk of her “fall” in the NYT article, while she describes her success as “extraordinary” and her career as almost “flawless”, both in the field of arts and business.

She recently launched a real estate fund, Atlas, which has interests in the United States, the United Kingdom and France, according to a catalog she provided to us. Investments in Quebec are in the pipeline.

I have done a lot of real estate and I have very interesting profits. I made about 400 million over a few years.

Louise Blouin

But the media, denounces Louise Blouin, have always preferred to talk about her shoes rather than her career. “Would it be different if I were a man?” Yes. The media talks more about my looks than my substance. »

Throughout the interview, Mme Blouin deplores the coverage of him around the Panama Papers – “it’s an absolutely legal structure” – and payment delays within Louise Blouin Media – “I was the victim of very significant fraud in New York in the 2010s” –, his real estate concerns in Mont-Tremblant – “the OACIQ (Self-regulatory organization of real estate brokerage of Quebec) judged that the brokers had not respected ethics” – or even his troubles with the American tax authorities: “We are in court. They say they didn’t receive a sum of money, and we say we sent it. We’re looking for her and I think we found her. It was a person who was supposed to transfer the money and who kept it. »

These “few obstacles, five or six in 40 years, it’s nothing,” she slips. “I was extraordinarily lucky. »

It will be discussed in a book currently being written, Obsession. “It will be the consolidation of my work in art and my experience as an entrepreneur,” she says.

Read the file of New York Times “The spectacular bankruptcy of Louise Blouin”

Who is Louise Blouin?

Born October 15, 1958 in Dorval

Acquired the classified ads magazine Auto Hebdo in 1987 alongside her ex-husband, John MacBain. The couple set up the company Trader Classified Media, which will have some 7,000 employees.

Sold his shares in 2000 and received around 200 million.

Created in 2003 Louise Blouin Media (LBM), publisher of art magazines and websites.

Turned to philanthropy in 2005 by creating the Louise Blouin Foundation.

Gave around 140 million to the culture and science sectors from 2003 to 2018, according to his biography.

Manages a real estate fund and is still at the head of the Blouin Artinfo media, a modest successor to LBM.


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