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Paramount resort: Developers parent company KEHC five months late filing accounts

By Chris Price

The parent company of the developers behind a Paramount resort in Kent is nearly five months late filing its accounts, which could eventually lead to it surrendering its assets to the Crown.

KEHC (UK) Limited owns a controlling stake in London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), the business which is working on submitting a planning application for a £3.2 billion theme park and hotels on Swanscombe Peninsula between Gravesend and Dartford.

It also owns 100% of Ebbsfleet United Football Club and counts the club’s chairman, Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi, among its directors.

Developers hope the resort will be open - without the Paramount branding - in 2023
Developers hope the resort will be open - without the Paramount branding - in 2023

His Kuwaiti company is bankrolling the planning application for Paramount resort due this summer, which its chairman, Steven Norris, revealed in April was likely to be delayed for another year, raising doubts over its 2021 opening date.

Dr Al-Humaidi is also paying for the £5 million expansion of Ebbsfleet’s stadium, Stonebridge Road, which it bought from Gravesham council last month.

KEHC’s other directors are Fenlon Dunphy and David Testa, both long-running business associates of Dr Al-Humaidi and also directors at LRCH.

Its latest accounts were due on January 13 this year.

Its most recent financial information covers an unusual 13 months to the end of January 2014, when it reported net assets worth £4.29 million but debts of £4.3 million, making a loss of £8,427.

The entertainment complex is expected to create 27,000 new jobs and another 6,000 during construction
The entertainment complex is expected to create 27,000 new jobs and another 6,000 during construction

If it is given a notice to be struck off, it will have three months to either file relevant documents or show it has valid reasons to remain active, otherwise it will be dissolved and all its assets transferred to the Crown.

KEHC has been under threat of being struck off before, with a notice issued in January last year but then cancelled two months later after it sent its annual return.

LRCH has also twice been issued with a notice for filing its accounts late.

Its latest financial figures showed the company wrongly claimed it had more than £291,000 in the bank in 2013, when in fact it had cash reserves of just £952. It made pre-tax losses of more than £14.4 million in 2014.

KEHC spokesman Andy Martin said the accounts had been filed late because it was still consolidating the accounts of subsidiary companies.

Three industrial estates are in the heart of the land earmarked for London Paramount entertainment resort
Three industrial estates are in the heart of the land earmarked for London Paramount entertainment resort

He insisted the project still has full funding in place.

The Paramount resort developers are still locked in a battle with the owners of various businesses on industrial estates where they hope to build the project.

The company has delayed meetings with Peninsula Management Group, which represents 140 firms on Northfleet Industrial Estate, Kraft Kent Estate and Manor Way Business Park, near the Swanscombe Peninsula.

The group has said 4,500 jobs could be lost from the area if businesses are forced to close or relocate but has said no meaningful negotiations have yet taken place.

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