Ahmad Quits Zeus Capital For Rangers – by Ecojon

IN a surprise move, Imran Ahmad, the Managing Director of Zeus Capital, has quit his high-powered position to work as the commercial director for bottom division football team Rangers.

The Manchester-based corporate finance advisory firm has been expanding rapidly and recently opened a London office and employed top professionals to service its growing client base.

Zeus has also joined Global M&A, a cross border corporate finance advisory network to bolster their expertise in overseas transactions and bring overseas purchasers to the deals they assemble.

Imran joined Zeus Capital in April 2012 as MD after previously founding Allenby Capital Limited in September 2008. It grew from nothing to having almost 40 AIM clients by the time Imran, the chief executive, sold his stake three years later.

He became involved in the acquisition of oldco Rangers and worked with Charles Green to buy the business and assets from the administrators for £5.5 million. As part of the deal Imran and fellow Zeus director Brian Stockbridge joined The Rangers Board and Zeus and its associates also invested in the newco Rangers.

Imran Ahmad was yesterday given the title of commercial director responsible for generating and developing new business and investment opportunities at Rangers and Charles Green said said: “My roles have been stretching me to the limit and certainly the commercial side is something we want to improve upon.

“Imran has been alongside from the start and he knows where we want to take the club. He is a very experienced hand and someone I trust completely. For Imran to leave his post at Zeus to join us is a very good step for the club.

“The other key members of the senior management team have been working with him since May so it’s not as if we have brought some off the street with no knowledge of the people and the culture of the club.”

Yesterday former owner Craig Whyte claimed: “I was the one who found a buyer – it wasn’t Duff and Phelps. My colleagues in London – when no credible buyer was coming forward – went out and used our contacts in the city to find… to put a suitable deal together.”

Asked if he was the one who had brought Mr Green to the table, Whyte answered: “Absolutely. I introduced them to Duff and Phelps.”

Last night Charles Green admitted that Craig Whyte had introduced him to D&P in a London Chinese restaurant but claimed “no previous association with Whyte” and said it was “misleading to suggest he ‘brought us in’.”

He added: “I was brought to the transaction by Imran Ahmad following Duff and Phelps contacting Zeus Capital in February, due to their experience in the football sector.”

Posted by Ecojon

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42 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Guest Posts, Rangers

42 responses to “Ahmad Quits Zeus Capital For Rangers – by Ecojon

  1. josephmcgrath112001809

    Craig Whyte was correct, I believe. If he had not done what he did Rangers would not have lasted ’till the end of the season. Tha damage was done well before he arrived on the scene.

  2. john

    Considering Green has no personal wealth to speak of and has a hit an MISS record as CEO … why would he be brought into anything by VC’s if not just as a front… now they have employed a financial services sales guy with no experience of branding to exploit the commercial opportunity when its probably at its weakest appeal and continues to be tainted. Also was Imran not the guy that said Adidas and Real Madrid were finished only for the contract (the largest sponsorship deal in football) to be extended… a man in the know …I am more than positive we have heard all thi sbefore with Murray (NTL deal, moonbeams) Whyte also employed someone to sell the various rights TV and other with much fanfare… never saw any deals.. In scotland TRFC are getting an easy ride in the media they may think this will translate to mega commercial deals… they will be sadly mistaken…

  3. Econ,
    I did not realise Imran’s background was so colourful. I have just read that he formed his own company Allenby Capital after leaving Hoodless Brennan as he wanted to do things differently. Well that would be good because Hoodless Brennan were one of the worst boiler rooms in London. They were fined twice by the FSA and forced to close their online brokerage. They featured in a Tony Hetherington article in The Sunday Mail

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=hoodless%20brennan%20tony%20hetherington&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thisismoney.co.uk%2Fmoney%2Fnews%2Farticle-1646097%2FHetherington-Hoodless-Brennan-Cantwell-International-Abbey-Royal-Life.html&ei=PMl_ULOgNsjrsgbXl4D4BQ&usg=AFQjCNEpqNllaAzAM3QbpPEUS4CvQWcRiA

    Plus this commentary regarding FSA fines

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=hoodless%20brennan&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CFgQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.independent.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fbusiness%2Fnews%2Fhoodless-brennan-fined-16390000-by-fsa-over-sales-techniques-412404.html&ei=5cV_UIq8KojJtAbV7oGQCA&usg=AFQjCNEYdIwZQEcjOFinl4Sn5FFcO8ieSg

    I am sure everything has changed these days although you will remember my comments last week about pre float IPO’s and boiler rooms.

    • ecojon

      @100bjd

      I see that chico is using Simply Stockbroking for his flotation and wondered if you knew anything about them and principals?

      • COYBIG

        @ecojon

        Info on Simply Stockbroking? Well, John Patrick Brennan, founder of Hoodless Brennan, is on their board. Surely that’s worth a mention?

        • ecojon

          @ Coybig

          Worth checking dates to see if he was there when Hoodless Brennan, the cut-price stockbroker, was fined by the Financial Services Authority for the second time in less than three years yesterday, after its brokers were found to have used over-aggressive sales techniques.

          The FSA said Hoodless’s brokers tried to sell the stock to clients who “were not ready” to buy it, and tried to persuade customers to buy more stock than they wanted.

      • Econ,
        A quick check reveals they are the internet brokerage arm of Beaufort International Associates. I do not know them. However and I am trying not to be paranoic here, there was a company on AIM some years ago with an almost identical name. This company was reputed to be involved with Leo Knifton who was one of the UK’s leading boiler room experts. Kinifton was also involved with Hoodless Brennan. I have copied a link for you and suggest you have a look at the whole topic. Hoodless Brennan, Beaufort International, Leo Knifton etc. I think personally that this is a red herring although you did ask me and I hope it is all wrong!!!

        http://boards.fool.co.uk/message.asp?source=isesitlnk0000001&mid=11094195&mrr=0.33

    • ecojon

      @100bjd

      Have a look at http://www.growthcompany.co.uk/features/1609633/in-the-hotseat-by-miles-nolan.thtml

      Need to see how the various AIM floats have gone.

  4. alexander

    Charlie and Craigy boy, what a double act! just as good as Duff & Phelps anchor men ,who were compared to ,Laurel,n Hardy,Morecambe ,n Wise, Bud Abbott & Lou Costello,take your pick! But Charles and Craig,They could only be compared to Frank and Jesse James! take your pick again, Who,s FRANK and which ones the JESSE?

  5. This is a curious move. Call me suspicious, but is there something wrong with Zeus or Mr Ahmad’s relationship with Zeus?
    It has been noted in a couple of financial reports put out in the last week or two (Forbes article and alphaville) that any expected returns from Newco are years in the future if ever, because of the time taken to get back into lucrative Euro competition and the uncertainty of timescale in climbing the leagues amongst other things and that a share issue to institutional investors is a non-event given the position the club and company are in at the moment, no quick returns etc. In short any institutional investors would need their heads examined if they bought into share issue. And Charlie’s odd explanation of the share issue on Jeff Randall, the two lots of season ticket money in one season remark struck me as strange. As was his attempt at skirting round the needs of institutional investors (quick secure returns) as against the desires of the ordinary investors, the fans who buy in, that any monies made should be ploughed back into the club.
    Basically The Rangers like all of Scottish football that includes Celtic are not attractive to anyone who wants a decent or any return on their investment.
    What can Mr Ahmad add that these financial analysists have overlooked. Money perhaps? But as pointed out in alphaville report the stadium is more than adequate for their present needs, they have excellent training facilities and they cannot enter the transfer market for a year or so, why the rush to get money in at the moment?
    Or is it all getting too much for Charles Green? Whether you like him or not he has had a very busy and taxing (maybe I shouldn’t mention tax) last few months, although it feels like I have been listening to his meanderings for years.

  6. Don’t forget the Allenby Capital disaster and their previous adventure into football .

    AC Anconca – Serie B, liquidated literally months after Brainspark PLC acquisition of a major shareholding. Nominated advisers being Allenby Capital.

    Imran doesn’t say much about that, instead letting the MSM concentrate on some irrelevant Zeus link to Man U – Funny that.

  7. Good work Ecojon, one of your best I think. Thanks for that.

    Apologies for digressing to the ‘bigger picture’ here, but while here we delve again into the intricacies of the finer points of (just what in god’s name) is going on, I think the following guest post in today’s Scotzine gives one of the best analyses of the whole sorry saga in its gobsmacking totality I have ever read, outside Phil Mac’s book – I heartily recommend…

    http://www.scotzine.com/2012/10/the-green-and-whyte-knights-will-the-rangers-fans-ever-learn/

    • Martin

      Kenny,

      thanks for posting that. A great read.
      Comments posted on the article pretty much sum up all that is wrong with the Rangers fans view.

  8. JimBhoy

    Ahmad must think the rangers cash cow is gonna pay out, will we get details of his and chico’s sals and bonuses in the IPO information? With bonuses they will be taking a couple of £m p.a.

  9. Aten

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but sometime in the distant past I can remember a story about Liberty capital buying a stake in Zeus capital. Wasn’t liberty one of Craigy boys vessels?

      • Econ,
        Curiouser and curiouser so Allenby were Craigiebhoys nominated advisor at ill fated Merchant Capital where Craigiebhoy was the major shareholder so Imran and Craigy are on the same page. I note that he was also the nominated advisor for Nova Resources where Charles Green was a director and Rafid Ritzi of alleged Indonesian money laundering fame, and consortium participant, was the majority shareholder. Well if Chic claims he only met Craigy in a chinky in Auchinleck for five minutes and did not sit down, the same thing cannot be said of the charming Imran. Is somebody in pressville going to ask him?

        • A M

          All these links call for one of those mind-maps the paranoid The Rangers fans created showing a link between Harper McLeod, the SPL, the SFA, Regan, Doncaster, Peter Lawwell (and daughter), the Pope, The Templar Knights, Opus Dei and Dan Brown.

  10. mick

    great read ahmed must be wondering why he bothered with all the negativity going around via green and whyte hes been sent here via ticketus and zues to claw money back its his reputation thats on the line here

  11. ecojon

    @ Kenny McCaffrey

    Thanks and that was a great, no excellent, read at scotzine

  12. charlie o hare

    @ Charles Green
    “I was brought to the transaction by Imran Ahmad following Duff and Phelps contacting Zeus Capital’s Manchester office in February, due to their experience in the football sector.”

    the article above states……Imran joined Zeus Capital in April 2012 as MD
    SO neither Charles Green or Imran Ahmed was involved with Zeus when Duff and Phelps contacted them in February,

    in fact, according to the Mail online (13th May 2012) Green first became involved working on behalf of a family from Singapore back on the 15th of February 2012,
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2143692/Rangers-crisis-Charles-Green-preferred-bidder.html

    Green claims he,unlike the yank Millar,had carried out Due Diligence prior to his preferred bider status yet he acknowledges he WAS only introduced to D&P through Whyte and he claims to have never met Whyte until the met at the beginning of May 2012 , he must have flew through the due diligence.

    • ecojon

      @ Charlie O’Hare

      What I don’t know is where Imran was between September 2011 and May 2012. The info is probably out there somewhere – so fellow tinhat bampots what do you know?

      It would provide the answer as to how Zeus was involved in February if Ahmad wasn’t working for them then. And did D&P approach Zeus or was it Ahmad?

  13. Project Walliams

    Speculation is rightly frowned upon on this blog but…
    Is Ahmad quitting Zeus or is Zeus the ones quitting. Are we about to witness a bit of financial jinky johnstone where the MD steps into T’Rangers so that the ‘investors’ can then exit out the back with the money raised from the sharebears issue.
    Naw. wouldn’t happen and silly of me to think so.

  14. ecojon

    Worth noting the connection of Brian Stockbridge – also a Rangers & Zeus Director – with Allenby. Wonder if Brian is remaining a Zeus director? I see he left Allenby in January 2012 after Imran.

    Director – Corporate Finance
    Allenby Capital

    Banking industry

    January 2010 – January 2012 (2 years 1 month) London, United Kingdom

    Director in Corporate finance advising small to medium sized companies on public and private fundraisings and on M&A

  15. ecojon

    THIS SAYS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

    Allenby Capital
    Based in London
    Active in South Africa, United States, Mexico
    Targeted energy fuels, precious metals

    Allenby Capital, a London-based brokerage based in fashionable Mayfair, has acted as admissions advisor and broker for three mining companies listed on AIM, London’s Alternative Investment Market.

    These are: Atlantic Coal – which mines the open-cast Stockton Colliery in Pennsylvania, USA, and which that company is proud to boast is ” union free” ……………………………………

  16. mick

    He says he was introduced to Paul Clark of Duff & Phelps by Craig Whyte in a Chinese restaurant in May but was introduced to Rangers by Imran Ahmad of Zeus Capital – who had been asked in February to get involved in Rangers because of their “experience in football” (something Green has but Ahmad doesn’t). Summat does not add up here.

    Zeus Capital themselves make no mention whatsoever of having any “experience in football”, other than Sevco of course, on their own website:

    http://www.zeuscapital.co.uk/completed-transactions.phpActually

    • ecojon

      @ mick

      From Zeus website

      Zeus Capital is experienced in working with football clubs having advised Sunderland Football Club on 2 previous deals including the takeover by Niall Quinn and his consortium and advised on the Rule 9 offer for West Bromwich Albion.

      Members of the Zeus Capital team have also worked on deals for the following football clubs, Manchester United, Leicester City, Sheffield United and Millwall.

  17. mick

    a bit more digging shows that they were in fact involved in Niall Quinn’s takeover of Sunderland (http://www.investegate.co.uk/articlePrint.aspx?id=200607031253585649F

  18. mick

    and with investments into West Bromich Albion: http://www.investegate.co.uk/article.aspx?id=200502041723512686I.

    So, Zeus do have some previous in football takeovers, although Imran Ahmed’s name is nowhere to be found on those Sunderland and West Brom cases.

  19. redetin

    Board of MHG announces that Company’s annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 December 2011 have been posted to shareholders, together with a notice of its annual general meeting to be held at the Company’s offices at 34 Lime Street, London, EC3M 7AT on 5 November 2012 at 10.00 am. A copy of the annual report and accounts and the AGM notice is available on the Company’s website, http://www.merchanthousegroup.com.

  20. carl31

    CW “…it was bought for a pound … it was a financial basket case.”
    CW ” …finances deteriorated …”

    The CW tenure started as a basket case and things went downhill from there.

    Meanwhile in MSM lala-land the club was in the safe hands of someone with billions of ‘off the radar’ wealth..

  21. lordmac

    it looks like they now need the money from the share issue, just so as they can complete this years fixtures list, I believe it is only the funds from season tickets just now and tv deals that is paying the bill for 6 months just now, and I believe they are running at a 50% loss will they make the end of the season even with the share deal of £20 million
    not possible as structural work on the club grounds, and maintenance
    only adds to the costs that they will face each year. only the wage bill has changed for the players and that aint made a dent on the £12million over spend that was costing every year
    and now with a £3 milion short fall of season ticket moneys the cattering cant componsate for that.

  22. jimCB

    As a non economist the big news for me in this saga is how lucrative taking a company into liquidation can be. Duff & Phelps we know about and its eye opening to say the least. Mr Whyte was paid for his shares but doesn’t want to say how much. When everyone with a brain is asking ‘Why would someone get involved in this farce?’ then the answer is obvious – there’s gold in them there hills !! A few months in the goldfish bowl limelight in bonny Scotland then off to sunny skies. In his interview Whyte was brilliant as the ‘I’m a business man this is how I make my living – its was a dirty job but someone had to do it !’ Yes indeed – but whats around the corner ? Now? The financial players know next to NOTHING at their own admission about football and the passion surrounding this case – ‘Clouds the judgement’ says Mr Green. Maybe if he had done his homework he might have had second thoughts. So there can be only one conclusion they want a return on their investment – quick – and ‘it won’t come cheap!’

  23. Still struggling with the Chic/Craigy timeline here……….how exactly can you do a deal to buy Craigiebhoy’s Rangers shareholding for £2 when you spend ony ten minutes with the man while standing up in a chinky!! Chic is making this corporate deal making seem easy. What am I going to tell my wife when she asks me why I take months to do these things!

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