Nexis Holdings Public Limited Company, a UK-registered Hong Kong-based company run by directors in Australia, has been wound up in the High Court on grounds of public interest.
This follows an investigation by Company Investigations, part of The Insolvency Service.
The court found the company took investors money by making claims that were clearly false and which it had no means of honouring.
The company was based at Lv 15, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road, Central Hong Kong.
The investigation found the company claimed to operate manufacturing plants which processed waste material to produce building products. It also claimed that its largest plants processed up to 750,000 tonnes of such waste a year which was used to construct up to 60,000 affordable houses. It claimed to operate across North America, Asia, Europe, South Africa and Australia.
The company claimed to have a capital base of over Euro 1 billion and that its shares continued to outperform major markets such as the US Dow Jones Index and the German Dax.
Nexis officers could not substantiate the 78 million revenue or the 4.6 billion total assets reported in its filed accounts for the year ended 31 October 2010;
It sought to raise funds and obtain assets from investors, including by selling shares and entering into share swap agreements. At one stage it sponsored a football league club and offered its supporters an opportunity to invest.
The investigation also found that:
Nexis had no operational manufacturing plants;
Nexis never commenced commercial operations;
Over 99 per cent of Nexis shares were issued for a non-cash consideration;
Nexis raised around Aus$1 million from the sale of its shares to Australian investors and the majority of these funds were paid out for the benefit of Nexis officers;
Nexis issued its shares as part consideration for the purchase by its subsidiary companies of farmland in Australia; a transaction reversed as a fraud by the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Welcoming the courts winding up decision, Company Investigations Supervisor Chris Mayhew said:
The UK corporate regime was abused to peddle an investment scheme already discredited in Australia.
The companys claims were simply a pack of lies.
The courts decision sends an unambiguous message to would-be fraudsters that, attempts to mis-use our corporate regime to whisk money away from investors will not be tolerated.