Man at centre of Sheffield United takeover bid faces legal challenges in the US

Dozy Mmobuosi, who earlier this year was poised to buy Sheffield United, is facing a fresh battle off the pitch following the apparent collapse of his takeover bid as US based lawyers prepare to launch a class action against the Nigerian’s company Tingo.
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The move, by a number of firms including Faruqi & Faruqi LLP, comes following a series of allegations about both Tingo and Mmobuosi himself by Hindenburg Research; a short seller known for its scrutiny of worldwide financial markets.

The report, which was subsequently criticised and refuted by a Tingo spokesperson, questioned many of HR’s claims about its operations and business affairs whilst also casting doubt on Mmobuosi’s academic credentials.

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Now F&F, national securities specialists with offices in four different states, is calling upon anyone who suffered losses of $100,000 or more when Tingo’s share price plummeted in the wake of HR’s report to contact them and discuss their rights. F&F are also encouraging former Tingo employees to shed light on its dealings.

The F&F lawsuit focuses “on whether the Company and its executives violated federal securities laws by making false and/or misleading statements and/or failing to disclose that: (1) the Company overstated its revenue and other accounting metrics, creating a false impression of success; (2) the Company was not meaningfully engaged in many of the business activities that it claimed would drive future growth; (3) many of the Company's supposed contracts with customers and suppliers did not exist; and (4) in light of the above, Defendants' positive statements about the Company's business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.”

A number of lawyers in the US are now investigating events at Tingo, whose owner tried to buy Sheffield United: GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty ImagesA number of lawyers in the US are now investigating events at Tingo, whose owner tried to buy Sheffield United: GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images
A number of lawyers in the US are now investigating events at Tingo, whose owner tried to buy Sheffield United: GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

F&F is not the only group preparing action on behalf of those who own Tingo stock, with Bragar Eagel and Squire PC recently announcing it has already filed a lawsuit in New Jersey. Kirby McInerney LLP have done the same while, at the time of writing, around 13 other legal entities are actively calling for Tingo investors to get in touch.

Mmobuosi, who operates primarily in the agri-fintech sector, stated that he had paid nearly £9m into an account controlled by United World - the organisation United owner Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud uses to oversee his sporting interests - after agreeing a price for the newly promoted club with the Saudi Arabian. However, his attempt to gain control later collapsed with the English Football League, whose jurisdiction United were under before being promoted back to the Premier League, demanding not only proof of funding to complete the deal but also enough to cover costs for around two seasons.

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Mmobuosi went on record to insist he remained committed to continuing negotiations with Prince Abdullah but little or no progress has seemingly been made since. As The Star reported earlier this week, Mmobuosi has been granted a diplomatic passport by Malawi after his application was expedited in mysterious circumstances.

Dozy Mmobuosi wanted to buy Sheffield UnitedDozy Mmobuosi wanted to buy Sheffield United
Dozy Mmobuosi wanted to buy Sheffield United

Prince Abdullah is now thought to be speaking with members of the US business community and a consortium from his homeland about either acquiring his shares or providing extra financial support for manager Paul Heckingbottom and his squad ahead of the new campaign.