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Zambezi Portland Cement Founders Challenge Mahtani

The following press release was issued by the Zambezi Portland Cement Legal Centre:

Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mahtani is deliberately misleading the Zambian people with numerous false statements concerning his illegal theft of Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC), says Antonio Ventriglia, one of the original owners.

The most recent false statements by Mahtani were published on the website of Zambian Watchdog, under the title “The truth about Zambezi Portland and the missing $40 million.”

Specifically, the article claims that Mahtani through Finsbury “owns 58 per cent shares in Zambezi Portland Cement,” and that Ital Terrazzo owns 42 per cent, and then goes on to cite a 2007 agreement for the sale of shares.

“Mahtani’s dishonesty and lies with regard to the theft of our company will only further damage his credibility,” said Mr Ventriglia. “We invite anyone and everyone to review all the facts and evidence in this case, where this fraudulent conspiracy being orchestrated by Mr Mahtani can be clearly seen.”

What the Watchdog article fails to disclose is that Mahtani never actually paid for those shares, therefore rendering the agreement null and void. Furthermore, this wholly fictional claim is contradicted by the recent discontinuance of case 2008/HPC/0366 by Mahtani’s legal team relating to the shareholdings of ZPC.

The issue of the 2007 ZPC shareholding agreement was recently addressed by a Swiss Arbitral Tribunal Tribunal which ruled against Mahtani in favour of Antonio Ventriglia & Claudio Ventriglia. In its final arbitral award, the Swiss Tribunal found that Mahtani had insufficient evidence to prove that the money borrowed from Barclays was taken out on behalf of shareholders.

The award decision declares: “The Arbitral Tribunal finds, as a factual matter, that there is insufficient evidence of any shareholder information, instruction or agreement with regard to the proper characterization of the Barclays Facility, particularly at the time when the agreement was signed in October 2006. In fact, the Shareholders’ Agreement dated 26 February 2007 indicates that the increased Barclays Facility was understood to be an obligation of ZPC.”

The whole point of taking out more debt was to inject the company with liquidity in exchange for shares to transferred to Mahtani – but the funds never arrived.

The ruling continues:  “For the Arbitral Tribunal, it is decisive that (i) the Agreement itself does not state anywhere that the Claimant was providing a loan to Respondent 2 for the purpose of contributing quasi equity to ZPC; and (ii) the Agreement itself does not set out any direct and primary payment obligations of Respondent 2.”

Recent media repots have raised serious questions about the legality of Mr Mahtani’s conduct with regard to the Ndola-based company, including allegations of forgery and politically motivated deportations.

5 Comments

  1. Bwalya

    This Mahtan is a serious crook. I am wondering why Zambian Watchdog is trying to shield him!! I don’t believe the story of Zambian Watchdog on this issue. It appears there is really something going on between Mahtani and Zambian Watchdog. Why is it that any story involving Mahtani will have comments closed by Zambian Watchdog and anyone who dares comment negatively on Mahatani on their facebook page will always be blocked from commenting?

    • Nicompt

      @Bwalya, it is no more a secret that Mahtani is financing UPND and its propaganda outfit ZWD.ZWD sucks, it uses bad language, derogatory words for anybody who does not agree with its news item, always puts stories on Mahtani written in Mahtani’s office (for which he has never paid rent and involved in tax evasion-not paying for rent for his penthouse and office, thereby evading tax on rental income- VAT and Corporate Tax). For ZWD Mahtani is a holier than thou.

  2. Ola

    All Zambian watchdog is doing is slowly losing credibility as a sell our- everything about Mahtan is closed comments and often gets editors favourite. This is not a watchdog is a shame dog. Zambian watchdog is a Senama wikute. They are as bad as The Post. Zambian watchdo is UPND and their financier Mahtan and The Post for PF and their financier government. Zambia Reports we are yet to see as readers are morally not all stupid and poor.

  3. nicompt

    Senama Wikute indeed. Opposition Alliance shall keep away from the dirty Mwenye, married to his first cousin, like people from Pakistan do.

  4. Enock

    Leave Dr. Mahtani alone. Zambians are ungrateful people. They are just jealous of a hard-working and a successful businessman. Racism and jealousy will kill you all.

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