Yorgen Fenech still minority shareholder in Electrogas, despite resigning directorships

Although Yorgen Fenech has resigned his directorships of the Tumas Group and Electrogas, he still retains a minority shareholdership in Electrogas

Police and security officers search Yorgen Fenech’s yacht in Portomaso
Police and security officers search Yorgen Fenech’s yacht in Portomaso

Although Yorgen Fenech has resigned his directorships of the Tumas Group and Electrogas, he still retains a minority shareholdership in Electrogas.

Fenech remains a minority shareholder in Electrogas through his personal shareholding in Tumas Group and through a company of his which holds a stake in the power station company.

Yesterday, Tumas Group confirmed that Fenech had resigned and relinquished all directorships from the Tumas family’s companies.
Electrogas also confirmed that Fenech had resigned from the board of directors of Electrogas Malta Ltd.

Both resignations were effective as from 12 November.

However, Fenech has not yet relinquished, sold nor transferred his 3.35% shareholding in the Tumas Group Company Ltd, which in turn has 100% ownership of Tumas Energy Ltd, which itself owns 35.17% of GEM Holdings Ltd.

GEM Holdings owns 33.33% of EGM Holding Ltd, which is the 100% owner of Electrogas.

Moreover, Fenech is the full owner of New Energy Supply Ltd, which in turn owns 8.17% of GEM Holdings.

Therefore, Fenech is an indirect minority shareholder in Electrogas through his personal shareholding in the Tumas Group and associated companies and through ownership of his company New Energy Supply.

Who owns Electrogas?

  • 33.33% GEM Holdings
  • 33.33% Siemens Project Ventures
  • 33.33% SOCAR Trading
  • In turn, GEM Holdings is owned by:
  • 35.1666% Tumas Energy
  • 35.1666% Gasan Enterprises Ltd
  • 21.5% CP Holdings Ltd (the director of which is Paul Apap Bologna)
  • 8.1666% New Energy Supply Ltd (owned solely by Yorgen Fenech)

Fenech’s arrest

AFM patrol boats intercepted Yorgen Fenech’s 75-foot Riva Venera ‘GIO” after it left the Portomaso Marina at around  5.30am yesterday, less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that he had recommended a pardon be granted to the alleged middleman in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The yacht was excorted back to Portomaso Marina, where police immediately took Fenech into custody.

A rigorous search by the AFM took place at the marina.

The suspect is Melvin Theuma, a taxi driver from Birkirkara who was previously implicated in loan sharking, according to court records.

Fenech’s business ties to Schembri and Mizzi

In his first comments after Fenech was stopped from leaving Malta aboard his yacht, Muscat said he was not privy as to why the police were holding Fenech.

But he did describe the 17 Black owner as a “person of interest” in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation.

Muscat said that after his comments on Tuesday on the possibility of granting a pardon to the  alleged middleman in the Caruana Galizia murder, the police were given additional resources to ensure persons who may be of interest to the investigation did not flee Malta.

Muscat said he had to be very cautious what he says so as not to prejudice investigations.

However, he hinted there may be other persons of interest under police surveillance.

Asked whether Fenech’s arrest should lead to the resignations of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi – both had business links with him through 17 Black, which was listed as a target client for their Panama companies – Muscat said that was a consideration to be made “after all facts emerge”.

“Today, that is not a consideration I can make,” Muscat said.

When asked about the political ramifications of Fenech’s arrest, given the Mizzi-Schembri business link to him, the Prime Minister said there were other politicians who may have business link with Fenech both in the past and present, across the political divide.

However, Muscat insisted that so far, investigators have informed him that no politicians were linked in some way or another with Caruana Galizia’s murder.

Yorgen Fenech
Yorgen Fenech

Who is Yorgen Fenech?

Yorgen Fenech is the grandson of Tumas Fenech — after whom the Tumas business group was named — and the son of George Fenech, one of Malta’s major entrepreneurs, who passed away in 2014.

Until the announcement yesterday that he had resigned the previous week, Fenech was one of the directors of the Tumas Group, as well as serving on numerous other boards of directors.

Tumas Group has established itself as one of the most powerful business empires in Malta, with an asset appraisal of €350 million in 2017.
It has a stake in five different industries; hospitality, property, gaming, energy as well as shipping, with some of its most well-known ventures including ownership of the Portomaso Tower, Casino and Marina, and the Hilton Hotel.

The Tumas Group jointly owns the Valletta Gateway Terminal, which was in 2006 awarded a 30-year concession to operate and manage the Grand Harbour. It also owns the Singapore-based Portek Group.

Together with the Gasan Group, the group is developing the Quad Business Towers in Mriehel, which is expected to become one of Malta’s main business hubs.

Tumas is also in negotiations to start a joint venture with MIDI, who are behind the Manoel Island development project.

In 2013, Tumas Group was part of the Electrogas consortium that secured the construction of Malta’s LNG plant, together with Socar and Siemens.

Electrogas is owned equally by three companies: German conglomerate Siemens, Azeri state energy company Socar and GEM Holdings, made up of the Tumas Group, Gasan Group and CP Holdings.

The Delimara power station was part of the Labour Party’s 2013 electoral pledge to reduce electricity tariffs.

Then Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi had promoted the venture before the election, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat going one step further and promising to resign if the project wasn’t completed on time - a vow he ended up breaking.  

Tumas and Gasan own a third of GEM holdings, while the rest is split into thirds of which two-thirds are owned by the Apap Bologna family and the remaining one third is in the possession of a company owned by Fenech himself.

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