Bloomberg | | Posted by Singh Rahul Sunilkumar

Frederick Barclay, the reclusive tycoon who owes his former wife £100 million, is discussing a financial settlement with her after being threatened with bankruptcy. (ALSO READ: Bill Gates is dating again. His girlfriend shares quite a similar background)

The 88-year-old is yet to pay a penny of the divorce award, according to a lawyer for Hiroko Barclay, who told a London court on Monday her legal team was left with little choice but to prepare a bankruptcy petition against the “completely unrepentant” tycoon. The settlement offer to end the divorce fight was made on February 10, the same day as Frederick was set to meet his nephew Howard.

The divorce suit and other recent court cases have pushed the famously secretive Barclay family’s troubles into the open with revelations of brawls on yachts and bugged hotel rooms in London’s Ritz Hotel. Frederick even pleaded poverty and asked for government money to help fund his legal woes. He skipped jail but was still found in contempt of court last year for failing to pay his former spouse thousands of pounds in legal fees. (ALSO READ: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s wife Aaliya says she might file for divorce amid property dispute: ‘Not hungry for money but…’)

Barclay’s lawyers reiterated in court filings that an imprisonment was inappropriate in light of his age and that he was still without funds.

A petition for bankruptcy would “doubtless cause the personal guarantee he and his late brother gave in respect of the business’s borrowings to come crashing down,” Hiroko’s lawyer Stuart Leech said of a Frederick and his late twin brother David. He warned that private documents would likely be made available in such proceedings.

Judge Jonathan Cohen, who has been repeatedly critical of Barclay and his nephews, adjourned the hearing until March.

“It is absolutely essential that Lady Barclay is properly provided for and it is unlikely that this case will go away before that time,” Cohen said.

Lawyers for Barclay previously argued he couldn’t make the payments to his former wife, after the breakdown of their 34-year marriage, in one of the largest divorce awards in London court history. They said efforts to raise the funds had been frustrated by his daughter and nephews who took control of the family business after a fallout with David.

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