Liquidators appointed in MJS Capital collapse

David Rubin and Partners has been appointed to liquidate MJS Capital (now known as Colarb Capital).

MJS collapsed early in 2018 and was finally put into liquidation in March 2019. It allegedly took £30 million from bondholders.

After a five-way beauty parade between rival insolvency practitioners seeking the appointment, David Rubin & Partners was given the job last month, according to a recent filing with Companies House.

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MJS Capital sells Tempus Magazine to private security specialist

MJS Capital and Colarb Capital logos

Tempus, the luxury lifestyle magazine, has relaunched after a five-month hiatus, after being sold by collapsed unregulated investment firm MJS Capital (now Colarb).

Tempus was effectively acquired by MJS Capital in March 2017, and used extensively to sell its unregulated bonds, with frequent double-page ads in the magazine and advertorial articles about MJS Capital itself, which misleadingly described the bonds as low risk.

The September 2018 issue, ironically named a "Wealth Edition", was the last under MJS Capital's ownership. The magazine then ceased to publish for several months.

At the end of January 2019, however, Tempus published a further issue under new ownership. The contents page identifies Vantage Media Limited or Vantage Media Group as the new owners.

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MJS Capital / Colarb investors asked to defer repayment for a year; Shaun Prince claims MJS bonds have capital protection better than FSCS

MJS Capital and Colarb Capital logos

It's been nearly a year since MJS Capital (known as Colarb Capital since October; to avoid confusion, for the rest of this article we will continue using their original and less silly name) started to fail to pay investors' interest and capital on time, something it has blamed on "banking issues".

Investors are now being told that to receive their funds back, they must switch from MJS' bond series 3 or 5 to Colarb bonds series 4. Investors have been promised that if they do, quarterly interest payments will resume and they will receive their (already overdue) capital back after a year.

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Action Group formed for MJS Capital (Colarb) investors

MJS Capital and Colarb Capital logos

Since early 2018, investors in MJS Capital (now Colarb Capital) have experienced issues with having interest paid on time and receiving their capital back on time.

Numerous comments have been left on this blog from frustrated and often frightened investors trying to find out what action they can take.

MJS Capital issued unregulated loan notes which were, by their nature, extremely high risk and only suitable for sophisticated and high net worth investors. Despite this, they were promoted by MJS Capital representatives as "very low risk" and "a safe haven".

An investor action group has been set up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mjscapital/ to help investors come together, share information, and find a way forward. The group is "closed", which means that anything posted in the group will only be visible to those who have been allowed to join.

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Luxury yacht funds, gold-plated AK47s and blatantly misleading ads – we look back on MJS Capital’s ownership of Tempus Magazine

MJS Capital and Colarb Capital logos

Tempus Magazine was a luxury lifestyle magazine first published in 2012. If you liked yachts, luxury holidays and pictures of watches (lots of pictures of watches), Tempus was the magazine for you.

In March 2017 Tempus was effectively acquired by the unregulated minibond issuer MJS Capital. MJS MD Shaun Prince became its Chief Executive Officer, and the owner was named in Tempus' contents pages as Tempus Media Limited (taking over from Curve Content Limited). Tempus Media Limited was wholly owned by Martin Westney, an MJS Capital director.

This arrangement was referred to by Tempus as "sponsorship" but having the same CEO as your "sponsor", having another director of your "sponsor" owning the company which is named as the publisher, and substantial influence on editorial output goes well beyond sponsorship.

Oddly, Tempus Media's September 2017 accounts claimed it was a dormant company, even though by then Tempus Magazine clearly stated that it was owned by Tempus Media Limited.

Tempus' website (tempusmagazine.co.uk) is now down, and the magazine has not published its usual issue for November. Martin Westney has also applied to have Tempus Media Limited struck off the register. Oddly, his application to Companies House claims that Tempus Media Limited had not traded in the past three months, even though he signed this application on 4 September, only a day after Tempus Media's last issue was published.

With Tempus Magazine apparently no more, let's take a moment to reminisce about its history under its new owners. Continue reading...