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Keydata founder Ford lent millions to Elias company

Keydata founder Stewart Ford personally loaned millions of pounds to a firm run by David Elias, the man at the heart of the investigation into Keydata funds which may have been misappropriated, months before the firm became insolvent.

According to court documents, Ford, who was a Keydata director, advanced £2m and the value of a bond expressed to be worth £1.2m last October to Netherlands-based Polymer Vision Limited, a company controlled by Elias. The documents show that by December 2008, Elias needed further money which resulted in a further advance by Ford of £600,000.

They show more advances totalling over £1m from Ford earlier this year alongside a facility agreement so Elias could buy all PVL’s assets and undertakings.

Elias owned SLS Capital, the investment vehicle which invested £103m of Keydata assets which Keydata administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers says has been liquidated and “may have been misappropriated”.

PVL was established in November 2006 as a joint venture for the development of technology relating to rollable displays following a subscription and shareholders’ agreement between Technology Capital SA, PVL and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV. Luxemburg-registered TCSA was and is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian-based BWT Holdings Limited which was controlled by Elias.

A High Court case was held in March this year, brought as a result of the “parlous financial state of PVL” and Ford’s concern, having advanced “substantial monies” to the firm. Ford brought the case against PVL to declare the validity of a debenture granted to him by PVL to secure all liabilities owed by PVL to Ford.

In court documents, Ford is quoted as saying he had known Elias for many years and he had been the victim of huge financial losses as a result of what he describes as his “misdealings”. Elias died in May. PVL is in administration.

Keydata says it is an “innocent victim” after administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers uncovered information that suggested £103m of assets invested by the firm with SLS had been “liquidated and may have been misappropriated.”

In a statement on June 30, Keydata said: “Keydata was only a distributor of the SLS bonds and is not and never has been connected in any way with SLS or its owners or managers.”

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