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Syed's firm told to cease trading

Syed's firm told to cease trading

A Bahrain investment company run by potential new Rovers owner Ahsan Ali Syed, has been told to cease trading by Bahrain's government.

It has fallen foul of strict laws in Bahrain on how to run companies as it there has been evidence suggesting the company has been acting on behalf of an external investor. Something which is prohibited by Bahrain business law.

The big news for Rovers fans is that this company does not directly affect Syed's attempts to buy Blackburn Rovers.

It will however ask some serious questions about the man himself and his practices.

BBC Sport is reporting in full - 'A company run by the man linked to the proposed £300m takeover of Blackburn Rovers has been told to cease trading.

Bahrain's trade and industry ministry said it closed a Bahrain-based company after it violated regulations by operating outside its remit.

BBC 5 live has learned the company is Western Gulf Advisory, run by Indian investor Ahsan Ali Syed.

Western Gulf Advisory said the Blackburn bid is being managed by a separate company, and is unaffected.

The precise details of the offence are unclear, but it is understood that Western Gulf Advisory fell foul of Bahrain's central bank, which refused to sanction its activities.

It has been reported that Mr Syed is planning to invest £300m into Blackburn Rovers, pledging an additional £100m to fund transfers.

Mr Syed also runs a Swiss-based company, Western Gulf Advisory AG, based in Zug.

The BBC has been told it is this Swiss entity which is managing the takeover plans, and not the Bahrain-based company.

Private investor

Mr Syed's personal wealth has been reported to be between £3bn and £8bn. He said he would be investing his personal wealth into the club, through his Swiss firm, and he would be the sole investor.

The takeover bid is being negotiated by Western Gulf AG's European investment team, which is currently involved in the creation of a new Europe-based firm, WGA Sports, which will oversee all Mr Syed's sports investments.

According to its company website, Western Gulf Advisory provides services relating to asset and wealth management and Mr Syed's family has been involved in private sector lending across Asia for 150 years.

Despite his reported wealth, little is known about Mr Syed, and he has not featured in the Forbes Rich List.

Mr Syed claims he and his company are experts in buying under-performing companies and turning them into profitable enterprises.

He is known to be involved in other takeover bids of companies outside of football, including the Irish construction company McCabe and the Australian cotton producer, Cubbie Station.

However, when probed about his other investments when talking to the BBC last week, Mr Syed said he preferred to keep such information private to protect his investors. Western Gulf Advisory claims to act as financial adviser to sovereign wealth, royalty and many wealthy individuals.

A spokesman for the Barclays Premier League said they had not received any formal notification regarding a takeover of Blackburn Rovers, and would not conduct any investigation into the suitability of any potential investor until such a time.

Once notice of a takeover is received the Premier League then has 10 days to carry out a means and abilities test of the company planning the investment, which includes the owners and directors.

It is only after such tests have been completed that a decision on whether to sanction a takeover will be made.

A spokesperson for Mr Syed said negotiations with Blackburn Rovers' advisors were proceeding very well, and Western Gulf Advisory AG would soon be approaching the Premier League to complete the necessary paperwork.

Blackburn Rovers did not respond to a request for a comment on the development.'

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Writer:Mikey Delap
Date:Monday August 30 2010
Time: 9:36PM


These things never go smooth round here do they?!
Mikey Delap
30/08/2010 21:41:00
Apparently he's denied it already
30/08/2010 21:53:00
Hope this doesn't affect the takeover, hopefully the takeover can be officially completed in another 2 weeks time, mid Sept as reported, then all the ghosts will exorcised.
31/08/2010 01:19:00
I'll go on the record and say we shouldn't waste any more time with this guy. It's Pompey all over again - bluster, inflating his wealth and ego with absolutely no substance. It's just fashionable in this part of the world to be associated with an EPL team, and I reckon that's all this takeover is. I'll humbly eat my hat if anything solid and concrete materialises, and we get the war chest promised. Delaying past the transfer deadline gives him the opportunity to get more coverage and prove to everyone how rich he is without having to put his money where his mouth is... except that perhaps he isn't as rich as he would like to think.
Desert Kiwi
31/08/2010 07:08:00
Kiwi, I just on your track. From the start I thought this guy didn't sound like the right guy for us. I'm still on for the Shah guy, he seems like a better fit for us. At the end I still hope Mr. Williams have something to say in this case to choose the right man......Cheers
31/08/2010 08:42:00
I am sure whatever happens we will be fine, we won't get dealt over to someone who won't benefit the club. If it ain't meant to be then someone else will step in I am sure - there is plenty of interest if Rothchilds are to be believed.
Mikey Delap
31/08/2010 09:02:00
Funny actually that suddenly everybody is interested in us......cheers
31/08/2010 10:09:00
I think Desert Kiwi is making a very valid point but i still back John Williams and those in charge of the take over process to make the right decisions in the best interest of the club.
Diouf Diouf
31/08/2010 10:13:00
Some valid points on here but would Syed have a 15 year plan if he was in it for a quick buck? On top of that he has stated several times he doesn't expect Rovers to start making money and being self sufficient without years of work. I appreciate this doesn't make him looked as good as some of us had thought but this guy is definately not a Gaydamak.. Still my preferred choice. Maybe he's good at saying the right things but there are far stricter rules and regulations he must abide by now compared to when the likes of Shinawatra and Gaydamak were taking over clubs..
31/08/2010 11:27:00
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