The Times of London is conducting an investigation into tax evaders and the like.
Tomorrow’s (Friday’s) paper includes a lengthy story written by Special Correspondent Alexei Mostrous linking a major shareholder in Rangers Football Club Ltd with a criminal investigation into tax evasion.
According to the Times, “Criminal investigations have been launched into tax schemes sold by a key shareholder in Rangers”.
This relates to Richard Hughes, founder of Zeus Capital and the associated Zeus Partners. Mr Hughes is personally a holder of over 2 million shares, according to the paper.
Zeus Partners created and marketed a £134 million film investment scheme, suspected by HMRC of what is described as “an illegal attempt to generate millions of pounds of tax relief”. HMRC are investigating 17 companies set up in connection with the scheme. It is alleged that the companies were set up, and films produced, to generate losses, and the structure of the deals was such that, for a comparatively small investment, tax losses many times higher would be created, saving wealthy investors large sums by way of tax.
The Times makes it clear that Zeus Capital itself is not under investigation. However, and perhaps of more relevant concern to prospective investors, is the statement by the paper that Mr Hughes “stands to make millions from the share floatation” due by the end of the year. It is hard to see how he does so with all of the investment raised in the share issue staying in the club, as promised by Mr Green.
A Rangers spokesman is quoted as saying that Rangers “have no business relationship with Zeus Capital”. However Imran Ahmad was a Director of Zeus Capital and is attributed by Mr Green with introducing him to the deal, and Brian Stockbridge, the Finance Director, is a Director too of Zeus Capital.
Acquisition of Rangers FC
Zeus Capital, the Manchester and London based corporate advisory firm have worked in conjunction with Charles Green to complete the £5.5 million acquisition of the business and assets of Rangers Football Club out of liquidation.
The transfer of the business and assets to a new company structure has taken effect immediately and the new company is The Rangers Football Club.
As part of the deal Imran Ahmad and Brian Stockbridge from Zeus Capital have joined the Board of The Rangers Football Club. Zeus Capital and its associates are also investors in the newco.
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.
In Mr Green’s presentation to institutional investors in May, pre-takeover, there were spots reserved on the proposed Board of Directors for representatives from Zeus Capital.
The Times article, which is in the paper edition and will soon be up on its website, but behind its paywall, will be of great interest.
However, after the Murray years at Rangers led to the EBT scandal and the Big and Wee Tax Cases; Mr Whyte’s tenure led to non-payment of millions in VAT and PAYE and administration and now liquidation; it seems at the very least embarrassing that a sizeable investor, linked to members of the Ibrox board, has one of his companies under such close scrutiny.
Posted by Paul McConville