Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blue City Soap Opera breaks into the open

So, as promised yesterday, more on the soap opera that is Blue City, aka Al Madina A'Zarqa. Today Ahmed Abubaker Janahi, the Bahraini Businessman previously involved with the Blue City Project through AAJH Holdings held a press conference objecting to the fact he is now being sued in Oman.

It seems he wasn’t going off as quietly into the night as Cyclone had hoped! Holding a news conference today in Bahrain Gulf News story Mr Janahi is not a happy camper. (I blogged about him being effectively kicked out by Cyclone in December last year here.)

My sources now tell me the project may be in deep trouble, with not too much of the original $900 million left, following the need for expensive redesign of almost everything. As a result, they said the current General manager Mr Satish has been asked to go elsewhere, with an expected exit date of end March. The Chief Operating Officer, Mr Miri may not be far behind him either.
Recent speculators buying up land around Blue City may want to reconsider their somewhat precipitous investment… Looks like this story is going to run and run. I wonder who’s currently holding the bonds that effectively mortgaged the land around Al Sawadi? Is AAJH Holdings being set up to take the fall?

And I wonder if this will be reported in the Omani press, seeing as a significant shareholder in Cyclone is an 'HH' and is in the Government?

A BAHRAINI company is facing court action in Oman after its partners accused it of illegally acquiring a majority stake in a multi-billion dollar project to build an entirely new city.

However, AAJ Holdings Company (AAJHC) claims it is an unlawful attempt to force it out of the $15 to $20 billion Blue City development and is now appealing to the Omani government to intervene.

The firm owns 70 per cent of the shares in Ocean Developments, the holding company behind the project. But legal action is now being taken against it by its partner Cyclone LLC, AAJHC chairman and chief executive officer Ahmed Abubaker Janahi revealed yesterday.

He said a suit had been filed against his company in the Omani courts and claimed an injunction order had been granted, which stopped AAJHC from exercising its rights associated with shares it owns in Ocean Developments until a judgement is handed down by the court."

He said this meant Cyclone had been managing the project without any involvement by AAJHC, claiming the Omani partners had initially demanded 20pc of the Bahraini company's shares.

"An immediate intervention by the Omani government is now crucial, seeing as the minority shareholder is currently in full control of the project and has actively and independently started sales, disbursements and generating revenues - the whereabouts of which still remain unknown to AAJHC," Mr Janahi told a Press conference at the MÅ¡venpick Hotel yesterday.

"We have been wrongly and completely shut out with all references and our logo unduly removed from the project."

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