Writer: Ian De-Lar
Date:Wednesday September 26 2012
Investment companies Mastpoint Limited and Mastpoint Finance Limited are set to close after applying to be struck off.
The two companies were set-up by former Plymouth Argyle Chairman Sir Roy Gardner (pictured above) and Director Keith Todd in March 2009 to provide the necessary funds from wealthy investors to purchase Home Park stadium through a mortgage and supply loans to Plymouth Argyle Football Club.
Both companies have now applied to be struck off and dissolved bringing closure to yet another horrific chapter in Argyle's recent history.
Many Argyle fans believe the introduction of investment vehicle Mastpoint was the start of the demise of PAFC with the riches of a potential World Cup 2018 venue for Home Park the only real interest for the investors, while other fans were thankful that Mastpoint and Gardner supposedly wrote off a huge chunk of debt to ease Argyle's exit from administration.
Will we ever find out the truth?
Either way, PAFC came very close to being liquidated following the involvement of Gardner, Todd and Mastpoint.
The Mastpoint members are all associates or business partners of Gardner and Todd, including investment bankers, directors of large companies, a friend of a former Prime Minister, an entrepreneur and a PR guru.
Between them they are worth millions of pounds, a quick look at the personal wealth of just five Mastpoint members reveal they are worth £360 million.
Apart from Gardner and Todd the mysterious members of the Mastpoint consortium include:
Larry Hirst CBE, the former Chairman of IBM Europe, Middles East and Africa, retiring in 2010.
David Rowe, the founder and Chief Executive of Easynet, a telecommunications company formed in 1994.
BSkyB purchased Easynet in 2006 but the company was sold to the Lloyds Banking Group for £100 million in July 2010 with Rowe remaining as Chief Executive throughout.
Argyle Director Keith Todd was non-executive Director of Easynet until 2006 when it was sold to BSkyB.
Rowe is a committed Argyle fan.
Andrew and Danielle Gardner are family members of Sir Roy Gardner.
Russell Chambers is an investment banker and a friend of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Chambers often shared holidays with Blair and advised the Prime Minister on financial policies, he is also UK head of the Credit Suisse bank, where Sir Roy Gardner is a senior advisor
Chambers lives in London and is a devoted Chelsea fan.
Roland Rudd is a financial Public Relations guru who set up the Finsbury Company in 1994.
Rudd is a sought-after PR figure in London and is estimated to be worth £45 million.
Bernard Taylor is another investment banker and vice- chairman of US bank Evercore Partners Inc, responsible for Europe.
Rob Lucas is the managing partner of private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, owners of the Merlin Entertainments Group who operate the London Eye, Legoland, Alton Towers and several other theme parks.
Newcastle United fan Richard Metcalf is Chief Risk Officer at Swiss UBS Investment Bank.
Eddie O'Connor is the founder of Irish-based firm Mainstream Renewable Energy and has $3 billion worth of projects ongoing around the world.
O'Connor, who is worth 130 million Euros, installed Gardner as Chairman of Mainstream Renewable Energy.
Donald McGarva was the former Vice President of DHL's logistics operation across Japan, Korea and Philippines.
McGarva is now Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at Amino Technologies, a digital entertainment solutions company where Keith Todd is Chairman.
Peter Wood is an entrepreneur and founder of insurance companies Esure, Direct Line and Sheila's Wheels and is one of the top 450 wealthiest people in Britain with a personal fortune of £120 million.
American Joe Plumeri is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of insurance and investment firm Willis Group Holdings.
Gardner is also on the board at the Willis Group.
Natalie Newby-Ricci is a textile designer and owner of Luca & Amelie, a small company that supplies accessories for the home and garden.
Dick and Don Limited is a company formed by Mastpoint investors Donald McGarva and Richard Metcalf.
Three new shareholders include Frank McKay, Mark Tincknell a former Chief Executive at Connaught (Gardner's old company) and Jester 1 Limited.
Two other Mastpoint shareholders include Daniel Desmond and Michael Claydon.
There was also been some investment into Mastpoint from Koichiro Abe who loaned £320,000, Singapore businessman Freddie Siy who loaned £450,000 and a business colleague of George Synan has loaned £100,000.
Abe, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was involved with Kevin Heaney and Bishop International Limited in the failed takeover of Argyle.
Mastpoint Finance Limited was formed in August 2009 to deal with a new mortgage for Argyle with Gardner and Todd named as Trustees.
Mastpoint Limited is still a shareholder in K & K Consortium Limited, a company formed by Yasuaki Kagami and George Synan but eventually taken over by Gardner and Todd and used to purchase 13% of shares in Argyle.
The involvement of Mastpoint in PAFC could and should have been an exciting time for the club but instead the staff and players suffered nothing but misery and financial hardship.
Date:Wednesday September 26 2012
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