The Sun Says Mazen Nabil Houssami Behind Rangers Board Moves – Who Is He?

Today’s Sun reports that Mr Houssami is the man behind the EGM requisition at Ibrox. Thanks to Ecojon’s efforts, readers of this blog know a lot about Mr Houssami.

He was discussed here some time ago and the full posts can be accessed here.

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From this blog in October 2012:-

Blue Pitch Holdings and Mazen Houssami

As far as Blue Pitch Holdings is concerned, we have the name of Mazen Houssami as “the legal beneficiary”.

He has been mentioned before.

Back in May, STV reported the following taken from an interview with Mr Green on the official Rangers website – The interview is indented with my comments beneath:-

“I can now provide two names, as I have clearance to do so on their part, of investors who are on the list.

“One guy is Jude Allen who is an Indonesian investor and the second is a lawyer from the Middle East Mazen Houssami.

“These two are very prominent in their areas. It’s a great opportunity for us to build on their experience, their connections in those regions because we want to take the Rangers brand into these areas.

“There are other names but for today they are two very prominent businessmen who are backing the football club.

“The reluctance to reveal investors initially was because a lot of these investors are offshore trusts and individuals who didn’t want their name in the press and media because they, like everyone else in the world, have been watching the Rangers story unfold through the media since February and indeed before that and these people are not publicity seekers.”

Now the people who are not publicity seekers will have such thrust upon them, it appears.

What of Mr Houssami?

There is surprisingly little, at first sight, on the Internet regarding Mr Houssami, other than reports from numerous sources of Mr Green’s comments in May, referred to above.

There is a lawyer in Lebanon by that name, listed on the Bar Association of Beirut website as “Mazen Husami”. LinkedIn takes you back to the similarly names Mr Houssami. I assume, as someone with no knowledge of Arabic, that either can be a translation of the family name.

There is a “Mazen Nabil Houssami” listed as Senior Legal Counsel to the Tameer Holding Investment LLC. That company is described as – one of the region’s leading developers, with a number of prestigious projects throughout the region. In 2008, Tameer Towers project in Shams, Abu Dhabi, on Al Reem Island, was announced by International Property Awards the single most accredited development in the world. Tameer is also developing Madinat Al Majd in Amman, Jordan, in collaboration with Jordan’s Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC).

The helpfully vague description of Mr Houssami as a “Middle East” lawyer means that it could be either the Lebanese lawyer of that name practising in Beirut, or the United Arab Emirates based Counsel with Tameer. Indeed, they could be the same man. I have emailed Tameer to ask.

Mr Green of course has history in the Middle East construction game. He was deputy Chairman of Panceltica Holdings. This was a Qatar-based construction company which worked on projects across the Middle East, including in the UAE.

It collapsed into liquidation, and Ecojon has already provided some interesting history regarding it on this site.

The Daily Telegraph in 2008 reported on the bright future which Panceltica had. In particular, it spoke to Mr Green, the Deputy Chairman.

The following are extracts from the Telegraph piece:-

Panceltica, a Qatar-based construction group, will today become the biggest company to list on Aim so far this year. The company, which will float at 100p with a market capitalisation of £236m, is hoping to benefit from the ongoing building boom in the Gulf States.

Panceltica is rolling out a new type of technology …”It’s like putting together a Meccano kit,” explained Charles Green, Panceltica’s deputy chairman.

While Panceltica is not bringing in any new money at this stage, it raised £55m several months ago via the increasingly popular route of pre-IPO financing. This allows companies to obtain new funds without having to worry about the immediate market conditions.

“Clearly you couldn’t pick a worse time to float from a market point of view,” Mr Green noted. “But we’re not concerned about whether the market is good or bad having already done our financing. The amount of management time spent doing an IPO is huge, so getting the fundraising out of the way lets us go back to building houses as opposed to carrying out due diligence.”

Panceltica is confident it can profit from the rapidly-expanding construction market in the Gulf States and house brokers Hichens Harrison are forecasting that pre-tax profits will rise from $27.7m (£13.8m) this year to $59.1m next year and $93m in 2009.

Some investors may be uncomfortable with the complex relationships between the company and its shareholders and customers. For example, Barwa is Panceltica’s biggest customer as well as being a major shareholder with a seat on the board.

However, the directors and strategic investors have entered into a series of relationship agreements so that shareholders will not be able to exert influence over any material contracts where there is a conflict of interest. (All emphases added)

So we had a company coming to the AIM with a huge capitalisation – with great hopes for profits – with the company having just raised a huge sum pre-IPO – with an acknowledgement that an IPO involves a huge expenditure of management time – and with concerns for investors about the close connections of the company to its major shareholders. Hmmm.

It was in liquidation two years later, with the market capitalisation of £236 million reduced to dust.

Is this where Mr Green came into contact with Mr Houssami? Is this a connection from his building days? If so, then clearly Mr Houssami has done far better out of the construction business than Panceltica did!

Presumably the prospectus will give us more details about the mysterious Mr Houssami. After all, Mr Green has promised this.

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We never really did get any more about him though, did we?

But he re-appears, labelled as close ally of Mr Green, which he undoubtedly is.

And the Sun today has also picked up on a story broken here yesterday – namely Ticketus’ application to wind up Mr Whyte’s Liberty Capital Ltd in the British Virgin Islands.

I would never suggest though that the story in the Sun came from anyone there reading this blog (although it is amazing what IP addresses can tell you) 🙂

Posted by Paul McConville

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411 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Rangers

411 responses to “The Sun Says Mazen Nabil Houssami Behind Rangers Board Moves – Who Is He?

  1. Raymilland

    @Niall Walker

    It would appear that the media did initially cite Craig Whyte as a major creditor. However, with zero security against the assets (bank debt cleared); the Ticketus deal has not been recognised as being personally underwritten by Mr. Whyte (the courts have subsequently ruled that Mr. Whyte is liable for such debt).

    With the assets sold to Sevco 5088 to be used for their original purpose; if that Ticketus are kept out of the loop (post liquidation) this would obviously incur court proceedings.

    The Charles Green takeover has snubbed both Craig Whyte and Ticketus.

    Duff & Phelps should have recognised that in the event of Sevco 5088 by passing previous business connections with Ticketus; Mr. Whyte would certainly lose any opportunity to restore his reputation. After all; the bank had no security over the assets. Ultimately; Craig Whyte could be said to have saved the ‘club’.

    Although unlikely to be proven; did the purchase cash of £5.3m originate from the balance leftover from the Ticketus deal?

    In any event, with the venue saved (to be used as originally intended) and Ticketus removed from TRFC books; the sum paid for the purchase of assets would appear to be miniscule.

    The most crucial questions remain to be answered by BDO.

    Seeing that you are well versed in this matter; perhaps you could provide your scientific opinion in regard to the propriety of the sale of the assets?

  2. SairFecht

    My guess is that they’ve wanted Malcolm Murray out for some time because he’s been unhappy with the history of the ‘dealings’ and is viewed as a threat. What happened to the previous ‘improper conduct’ charge against him? If he’s been holding his counsel for the sake of the club it looks like ultimately that is going to have to give anyway. should be an interesting week ahead, I would think, in one way or another, and whether the MSM is going to acknowledge Charlotte’s archive will determine the extent of just how interesting!

  3. Somehow the words “the directors and strategic investors have entered into a series of relationship agreements so that shareholders will not be able to exert influence” seem to be ringing out loud again. Wonder how much of the money raised went into the directors pockets versus actually running a profitable business….certainly Mr Green does not appear adverse to repeating his “failures”. In fact one might think he specifically wanted to raise the IPO money for RIFC in the hopes it would fail without the interference of some meddling Men of Honour. .

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