Writer: Ian De-Lar
Date:Sunday January 13 2013
Mastpoint Limited, the former investment company for Plymouth Argyle, has finally published its accounts which show the consortium agreed to huge financial losses in the aftermath of the administration period at Home Park.
Nearly £4 million was written off by Mastpoint, one short statement on the accounting document made reference to this:
'Plymouth Argyle Football Company Limited was placed into administration on March 4 2011 and with no prospect of repayment the company decided to write off the loans made to that company.'
However, there is still some debt owed to Mastpoint and the future success of Argyle will potentially bring financial reward to the members of the consortium.
It's clear that through secured and unsecured loans the Mastpoint consortium were propping up a financially failing football club, as proven with the £17 million worth of debt which forced PAFC into administration.
Mastpoint was 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.
Mastpoint were about to be struck off and dissolved in October last year; companies can be threatened with closure if regular accounts are not published, however Mastpoint are once again active and after missing two accounting periods have now published two abbreviated accounts which were both signed and approved by Gardner and Todd in December 2012.
The latest accounts for Mastpoint are for the year end up to September 2012 but it's the accounting period covering the 18 months up to September 2011 that are the most interesting.
These new accounts reveal that the Mastpoint Group took a severe financial loss to ensure Plymouth Argyle could survive after the administration period.
The complex accounts from April 2010 to September 2011 show that the consortium agreed to write off a receivable loan of £3.9 million which includes £1.44 million secured against freehold of the Home Park stadium and after other payments were received Mastpoint recorded a total loss of £2.4 million for that period.
This compares with a £532,000 loss in the previous year up to March 2010.
A statement at the conclusion of the 2011 accounts mentions that the Mastpoint group surrendered its loan security but could still receive financial payments dependent on the future success of Argyle.
'By an agreement reached in October 2011, the company surrendered its security in respect of loans receivable from Plymouth Argyle Football Company Limited such that PAFC could be released from administration and continue as a football club.
'The agreement provides for the potential reward to the company's loan note holders dependent on the future success of the football club.'
The second set of accounts covering the 12 months up to September 2012 show that the Mastpoint investors are still owed just over £3 million (£3,051,989) through an unsecured loan note, although it is unclear if this debt is with PAFC.
The unsecured loan carries interest at 5% per annum and the principle and interest is repayable after 10 years of creation or earlier at the discretion of the company.
Included within that £3 million loan are amounts of £619,380 owed to Gardner and £279,720 owed to Todd.
A receivable loan of £440,438 made to K&K Consortium Limited was waived.
K&K Consortium is a subsidiary of Mastpoint and was formed in June 2009 by former Argyle directors Yasuaki Kagami and George Synan but was eventually taken over by Gardner and Todd and used to purchase 13% of shares in Argyle.
Apart from Gardner and Todd the mysterious members of the Mastpoint consortium include:
Larry Hirst CBE, the former Chairman of IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa.
David Rowe, the founder and Chief Executive of Easynet, a telecommunications company formed in 1994 and a committed Argyle fan.
Family members of Sir Roy Gardner.
Investment bankers Bernard Taylor and Russell Chambers.
Financial Public Relations guru Roland Rudd.
Rob Lucas 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, a Chief Risk Officer at Swiss UBS Investment Bank.
Eddie O'Connor, the founder of Irish-based firm Mainstream Renewable Energy where Sir Roy Gardner is Chairman.
Donald McGarva, the former Vice President of DHL's logistics operation across Japan, Korea and Philippines.
Donald McGarva, a Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at Amino Technologies, a digital entertainment solutions company where Keith Todd is Chairman.
Entrepreneur Peter Wood, the founder of insurance companies Esure, Direct Line and Sheila's Wheels and one of the top 450 wealthiest people in Britain.
American Joe Plumeri, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of insurance and investment firm Willis Group Holdings.
Gardner is also on the board at the Willis Group.
There was also some investment into Mastpoint from Koichiro Abe (£320,000), Singapore businessman Freddie Siy (£450,000) and a business colleague of George Synan who invested £100,000.
Abe, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was initially involved with Kevin Heaney and Bishop International Limited in the failed takeover of Argyle
Many Argyle fans believe the introduction of Mastpoint in 2009 was the start of the demise of PAFC with the riches of a proposed World Cup 2018 venue for Home Park the only interest for the investors but these new accounts just published show that the consortium agreed to take heavy financial losses in order for Argyle to continue as a football club and we will always be thankful for that just as we are with all the other companies and individuals who suffered financially for the sake of PAFC.
However, there is still a large amount of debt owed to Mastpoint in the form of an unsecured loan of just over £3 million; it is not certain if the football club is liable for this debt.
There is also an agreement that Argyle's possible future success will bring financial reward to the Mastpoint members.
Date:Sunday January 13 2013
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