A most tempting offer

The name of my company is the result of a family joke: my father observed one day that I was always thinking about crime.  I wasn’t sure I’d be allowed to have the name but I was, and it’s memorable and funny.  And I don’t get as many odd approaches as you might imagine…  But today I’ve had a doozy.  Here it is in full (coming from the email address buyout at ovmconsulting dot com):

Dear Susan Grossey,

We are writing to you to express an interest in acquiring either the whole or part of your business.

As a Dubai, UAE based Private Investment Fund,  we are actively looking for investment opportunities in the UK market to build a portfolio of medium sized businesses which may be business we buy out completely or take an active role in investing both capital and management expertise.

At the outset we would like to reassure you that we can:

  1. Complete any deal within 10 days subject to addressing all your concerns. To allay any concerns there are no fees involved from our side.
  2. Every business is different, we need to work with you to understand what your future plans are and how we can work in partnership to realize your ambitions and goals. Depending on your circumstances and choices you may or may not wish to stay involved in a role that has to be agreed as the knowledge of the business will sit with you and that knowledge is invaluable.
  3. We are not dependent on any external funding so any investments we make are from our funds so there are no lengthy contractual processes which create delays while a buyer or investor tries to secure funding.

In today’s uncertain environment surrounding the global impact of COVID-19 and how long this will last and what impact it will have on the economy only time will tell.  We can work together to manage both the current issues you may be facing and also prepare for the recovery. We do however believe that the following will occur and perhaps should have occurred many years ago:

  1. There will a move to localization of business and less reliance on complicated supply chains spanning the world – this may take many years to play out, but it will require investment in new ways of working including re introducing more emphasis on self-manufacturing and local sourcing. We are happy to partner in making these investments.
  2. It will become important to innovate both in terms of products and services rather than just compete on price and credit terms to your customers. This requires planning and investment.
  3. In these troubled times, cash will be the undisputed “King Maker” of the future, therefore we can work with you to optimize your cash position both by new investment and using our experience to preserve cash. Simply borrowing to meet costs could fraught with problems in the long term.
  4. Often in difficult times, we have worked and grown through 4 recessions, it is very hard for owners of businesses to deal with the supply chain and employees when they themselves look to you for faith and guidance and this can lead to high levels of stress. We can work with you to take this away from you but leaving you in control at the same time.

It would be good to set up a time to speak to understand whether there are any opportunities to work together either as complete buy out or working with you to manage the downturn and be ready to make the most of the recovery as the current pandemic passes.

Ravi Keshri

Managing Director

OVM Consulting Limited IC20130888
Suite 206
Swiss Tower
Jumeriah Lake Towers
Dubai 309073
United Arab Emirates

+91 9971877111

As you can imagine, I am delighted to hear that (a) we can move quickly, (b) they have funds ready to go, (c) they have plenty of cash to move through my business, and (d) they are willing to relieve me of the stress of making those pesky business decisions.

Of course, I am no fool and after consulting the latest Russell & Bromley catalogue (shoes to buy with my windfall!) and the Toast website (clothes to buy with my windfall!) I went straight to Companies House to check out OVM Consulting Limited.  Now I know that in the past I have been somewhat scathing of CH and the quality of the information that it provides, but this is because businesses can often sound more reliable and more solvent than they are.  Thankfully there are no such concerns with OVM Consulting.  I see that they are based in Birmingham rather than the UAE – much easier for meetings, once we’re able to move again – and sadly that they are over two years behind on their filings.  There’s a bit of jiggery pokery regarding their listing on the register.  And when it comes to their persons with significant control, it seems that my nice, friendly Mr Keshri is not the MD at all – he resigned as a director of any sort in October 2016.  Left holding the baby (appointed on the same day as Mr Kreshri’s resignation) is Mr Prasad Ram, in India.  I wonder if he even knows he’s on the CH register?

So sadly, everyone, it seems that there is no pot of gold in the UAE, waiting to buy out Thinking about Crime as a going concern.  But as a front for money laundering, well, it could just work – although I think they’d have to change the name.

This entry was posted in AML, Due diligence, Fraud, Money laundering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A most tempting offer

  1. Levi, Haim says:

    This is just such a great post, v well written and funny too!

    Regards, Haim

    Haim Levi Manager | Deloitte Financial Crime 1 New Street Square, London, EC4A 3HQ D: +44 20 7303 2640 | M: +44 7754 618071 hlevi@deloitte.co.uk | http://www.deloitte.co.uk

    [cid:image002.png@01D63F17.DD5DD480] Climate change is likely to drive some of the most profound changes to businesses in our lifetimes. Discover what it could mean for your business


    • Welcome to the blog, Haim, and thank you for your comment. I actually had another post lined up for today but I couldn’t resist sharing this with you all! Glad it made you smile. Best wishes from Susan

  2. Alex Erskine says:

    As a result of a successful research project, I enjoyed my bank account receiving international transfers titled “Illicit Financial Flow”.

  3. Ravi Keshri says:

    Dear Susan
    I am writing to you on behalf of OVM Consulting Limited, which is registered in RAK, UAE bearing registration number IC20130888 and has been registered since 2013.

    We had simply approached you to see whether you would be interested in selling your business based on desktop data research conducted using data at Companies House and third party credit agencies in this case Creditsafe.

    At no point have we had the opportunity to speak or discuss a potential deal structure. A sale and purchase requires both parties both the buyer and the seller to be keen to be complete the transaction. It is highly possible that you have no interest in selling and therefore there would be no further dialogue.

    We apologise if the approach has caused you offence, the approach was genuine and it is important to set the public record straight :

    a. We are based in Dubai, the company is OVM Consulting Limited bearing registration number iC20130888 – this is has no connection with the UK business of the same name.

    b. We do not accept you allegations or veiled suggestions of money laundering, if a deal was to go ahead, we would purchase your shares and continue to trade the business . The payment would be subject to a detailed sale and purchase agreement that your solicitors would handle so it would therefore be totally erroneous to suggest that we would use your company bank account. Frankly it makes no sense.

    c. Our initial approach is merely to understand whether there is any benefit in both yourselves and ourselves talking rather to determine whether you have any interest in selling and whether after completing due diligence it would make sense for both parties to proceed.

    d. We always expect any company we are dealing with to take their own professional advice from professional advisors they have been using and have an existing relationship with.

    Our comment that we can work quickly is to re assure people that we are no a brokerage or a consulting business expecting you to incur fees whilst we work out what your business is worth. the value of a an owner managed business is not simply its balance sheet but the knowledge and goodwill of the people who have made it into what it is today.

    We accept that every person has the right to make their opinions known and share these in public , but we do ask is that you correct the statement that we are a UK based business and that you feel that their is something untoward going on.

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