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Bellagraph Nova Group owners now seriously regretting their claims of buying Newcastle United

2 weeks ago
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In mid-August, NUFC fans were informed of a new Newcastle United takeover bid, this time with its roots in Singapore, the Bellagraph Nova Group reported to be in ongoing talks with Mike Ashley and having made a bid.

The three main players in this BNG bid said to be Terence Loh, Nelson Loh and Evangeline Shen.

The whole thing sounded very far-fetched and on Friday 21 August a brilliant piece from Reuters looked into the credentials of the Bellagraph Nova Group.

On its official website, BNG claimed to have a turnover of $12billion in 2019 and to have 23,000 employees, they also claimed that their main headquarters were now in Paris BUT Reuters could find no records of a company called Bellagraph Nova Group registered in France.

In addition, Reuters could not find any company by that name at the address it had been given as the BNG HQ (10 Place Vendome), one of their reporters visited the address and there is an office rental business operated by Regus in the building, with a receptionist saying BNG Group has used some office space there but its staff were not always present….

Bellagraph Nova Group do indeed have an office in Singapore and Reuters visited it, they reported that it was on the top floor of a four storey building, above a pet shop and a restaurant.

As it happens, Newcastle fan and long time contributor to The Mag, Jonathan Drape-Comyn, currently lives in Singapore. So after the piece by Reuters, Jonathan had a walk around to the Bellagraph Nova Group Singapore HQ and took the photo below of their offices (on the top floor)…

Now Reuters have done a follow up on their original article about the Bellagraph Nova Group (BNG) owners and associated businesses..

It appears that those behind BNG didn’t quite realise just what they were letting things in for in terms of the glare of publicity, when putting themselves up as supposed serious bidders to buy Newcastle United. Those claims (of being serious bidders) looking as embarrassing now as the journalists and newspapers in the UK who continue to report on them, as though Bellagraph Nova Group could still buy NUFC.

The Straits Times reported how the Bellagraph Nova Group were quizzed about countless press releases in recent months and numerous claims on their own official website, their response was that it ‘appears to be the result of the actions of certain errant individuals’ and they were investigating…

On their official website BNG had claimed a $12billion turnover in 2019 and a 23,000 workforce, now they have prevented the public viewing their website, with it now password protected. They have also deactivated their social media accounts. Maybe not how you would quite imagine a $12billion turnover company with 23,000 employees to behave?

Now in this new Reuters report on the owners of the Bellagraph Nova Group, they say there have been a number of resignations of directors from consultancy Axington AXIN.SI, which is also owned by Singaporean cousins Terence and Nelson Loh.

Reuters say that the resignations included its chairman, Evangeline Shen, these board exits follow the former US ambassador to Singapore’s decision to quit the firm as well last week.

The new report says that amongst those directors quitting, was executive director Marjory Loh, who is Terence Loh’s sister. She cited “recent intense public scrutiny on the company” for stepping down, in reference to what has happened since the Bellagraph Nova Group claimed to be bidding for Newcastle United.

Reuters added:

‘In other recent developments, luxury jewellery brand Bulgari (LVMH.PA) has refuted the group’s claims of a business association, and Singapore’s Business Times newspaper reported some regional investors were trying to withdraw investments from other BN group entities.

The Singapore Exchange’s regulatory arm last week called for a probe of Axington’s directors “in light of recent developments”, shortly before the company postponed a shareholder meeting saying it needed time to review its plans.

A spokeswoman for Singapore’s corporate regulator ACRA has also said it is taking enforcement action on two other companies linked to the Lohs for not filing annual returns.’

Safe to say that those behind the Bellagraph Nova Group and associated companies, are regretting the decision to claim they were serious bidders for Newcastle United. A decision seemingly made to try and get themselves publicity and to improve their profile. Well they certainly got the publicity…

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