A court in Zambia has given orders for the immediate and compulsory liquidation of Frango Finance Ltd, which is owned by Israeli diamond billionaire Lev Leviev.
The order comes as a protracted legal dispute between the diamond magnate and his Zambian business partner continues over an emerald mine.
According to reports, the immediate liquidation order was given after the court received a petition against the company on February 18th. It is unclear what that petition stated. But apparently, it was serious enough to prompt action from the Zambian court.
In the meantime, however, the billionaire’s lawyer, Dickson Jere, has made known his client’s readiness to contest the liquidation attempt.
“We have been served with an order which was issued without hearing my client. We will be going to challenge it in court as Frango is not even a Zambian-registered company.”
A business relationship that went awry
Mr Leviev’s legal tussle with Abdoulaye Ndiaye, the local business partner, began almost immediately after the billionaire acquired half of Gemcanton Investments Holdings Limited in 2015.
Gemcanton Investments Holdings Limited, which was formerly known as Grizzly Emerald Mine until its June 2017 rebranding, was bought from Mr Ndiaye. The company was incorporated in in 1997 and is based in Kitwe which is located in the country’s mining region.
About Lev Leviev
Once again, information about the nature of the legal contest between the disputing business partners is not readily available.
What is, however, known is the fact that Mr Leviev is an Israeli citizen and businessman. He created his wealth mainly by undercutting the DeBeers diamond cartel and striking his own deals with diamond-producing countries.
According to Forbes Magazine, the 63-year’s net worth as at 2018 stands at $1 billion. This makes him the number 2124 wealthiest person in the world last year.
Mr Leviev’s business interests cuts across continents, with stakes in both the Russian and Angolan diamond industries.
He owns controlling shares in the real estate and contruction company — Africa Israel Investments, which is also listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.