Sunday 23 July 2017

Bob Geldof wins latest round of legal fight relating to African businesses firm

Bob Geldof and the other businessmen said Miten Dutia's
Bob Geldof and the other businessmen said Miten Dutia's "partnership claim" was "without merit"

Musician and campaigner Bob Geldof has won the latest round of a legal fight relating to a firm which invests in African businesses.

A High Court judge had been asked to decide whether a dispute, centred on the 8 Miles private equity firm of which Bob Geldof is the chairman, should proceed to a trial.

Businessman Miten Dutia claimed that he was a member of a partnership, along with Bob Geldof and three other businessmen, behind the creation of 8 Miles. They disputed the claim.

Mr Dutia said his claim should be analysed at a trial.

Bob Geldof and the other businessmen said Mr Dutia's "partnership claim" was "without merit".

They said there was "no good reason" for a trial.

A less senior judge had already ruled against Mr Dutia.

Chief Master Matthew Marsh granted "summary judgment" in favour of Bob Geldof and the three other businessmen.

He said Mr Dutia's prospects of success at a trial were "fanciful".

Mr Dutia then asked a High Court judge to overturn that ruling.

But Mr Justice Nugee on Wednesday ruled against Mr Dutia and dismissed his appeal.

He said in a written ruling: "I am entirely satisfied that the Chief Master was right to conclude that the partnership claim was unsustainable."

Mr Justice Nugee had analysed the appeal at a High Court hearing in London in December.

Bob Geldof, the driving force behind the 1980s' Band Aid and Live Aid projects, had not been at that hearing.

A company website said 8 Miles was a private equity firm "focused exclusively on making private equity investments in Africa".

"We invest in consumer-driven businesses and service providers with strong growth prospects," said a website summary.

"A core part of our strategy is active ownership - actively participating in transforming businesses in which we invest. We are 'hands on' investors in Africa."

It said Bob Geldof was the chairman of 8 Miles and "advises the team on political and strategic issues".

Mr Justice Nugee said Mr Dutia had made other claims and legal action would continue in relation to those.

Press Association

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