Watch Louis Saha & Patrice Arnera Discuss Axis Stars at the WebSummit in Lisbon December 29th, 2016Axis Stars
MILESTONE GROUP PLC
(“Milestone” or the “Company”)
Joint Venture Agreement signed with Louis Saha’s Axis Stars
Milestone Group (AIM: MSG), the AIM quoted provider of digital media and technology solutions announces that it has signed a Joint Venture with Axis Stars Limited (“Axis Stars”) to work with the Passion Project and utilise the suite of technology solutions available through the Nexstar Joint Venture.
Former international footballer, Louis Saha has agreed to increase his company’s relationship with Milestone Group by signing a joint venture between his Axis Stars company and Milestone Group.
The joint venture will be a 50/50 revenue share whereby Axis Stars will utilise its fast growing database of international sport stars to raise awareness of Milestone’s Passion Project initiatives while gaining access to Nexstar’s portfolio of finance, media streaming and publication technologies.
The Passion Project is an initiative to aggregate all parties involved in the engagement, education and employment of young people whilst also providing both commercial and social opportunities.
Axis Stars was set up by retired French football star and former Manchester United player Louis Saha and is designed to help professional athletes better manage their careers and finances during and after their sports careers.
Through the joint venture, Axis Stars will co-host events with Milestone, match its database of international sport stars to social causes to raise awareness of the Passion Project and help build brand value of both companies.
Athletes, celebrities, musicians and actors are well known and trusted brands in their own right and the ignition point to the Passion Project as they bring relevant audiences in scale. Nexstar will also benefit from these agreements as it can offer innovative technology solutions including financial and publishing to its partners and their global audience.
Louis Saha said:
“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Milestone and the Passion Project. Moving to a joint venture agreement will give even more emphasis to the Play It Forward attitude which embodies the values of Axis Stars and its members. We are looking forward to making a real impact on the ground!”
Deborah White, CEO of Milestone commented:
“We are delighted to have extended the relationship with Axis Stars – we share the same values and both have a vision where creating commercial value and a better world can exist in the same conversation. I look forward to working with them and anticipate more collaborative developments between us to be announced in due course.”
For further information:
Milestone Group PLC
Deborah White, Chief Executive
Tel: 020 7929 7826
|Cairn Financial Advisers LLP, Nominated Adviser
Tel: 020 7148 7900
|Hybridan LLP, Broker
Claire Louise NoyceWalbrook PR Limited, PR
Gary Middleton / Paul Cornelius / Paul Whittington
Tel: 020 3764 2341Tel: 020 7933 8780
Notes to editors:
The Passion Project process has been designed to ensure that its younger audience is equipped with the tools and skills it needs for life and the world of work. The Passion Project has attracted ambassadors including Louis Saha, rapper, songwriter, actor and film director, Ben Drew, primarily known as Plan B, Rosie Chan, (Composer & Pianist) Akram Khan (Dance), Ali Tenant, (Singer/Composer), Amy Bailey (Actress) Jermain Jackman, (Winner of the Voice 2014) Wendy Smith (paralympian) and Alex Pritchard, Tottenham Hotspur professional footballer. These relationships will support the initiative by actively raising awareness of it through social media – this campaign is scheduled to commence in Spring 2016.
Founded by Louis Saha and Patrice Arnera, Axis Stars is an exclusive network designed to disrupt and change professional sport and entertainment from the elite to the aspiring youth. It provides a 360 degree eyes and ears solution based in e-Reputation and a solid network of trusted partners. Axis Stars creates business opportunities for athletes, artists, brands, clubs and agents, providing access to carefully selected financial and legal solutions and offers highly competitive lifestyle propositions. The aim is to bring transparency, compliance, education philanthropy and trust to professional sports and entertainment.
Nexstar is a joint venture between Milestone Group and Black Cactus Holdings Pty Ltd to develop and commercialise all existing IP owned by Black Cactus under an exclusive global licence. The JV trades as “Nexstar”.
Black Cactus has developed a number of products and services, including digital media platforms, music publishing services, a “Money Over IP” payment system and other technology solutions which it currently provides to global loyalty and reward programmes.
Pursuant to the JV agreement, Black Cactus provides the JV with development capability, digital content and use of IP and Milestone provides creative services, business development and audience activation services.
Following the success of our Cannes FIF 2015 party and the large number of requests to “do it again”, we are planning an exclusive Axis Stars event at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel on May 18th 2016 during the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival.
More details will be unveiled soon but we can already say that the event will be in addition to our charity gala alongside our partner Positive Planet. The event will be exclusive to our partners and sports and entertainment stars.
Wonder what the event will be like, take a look at last year’s event video:
The event will offer great branding exposure for our partners both onsite and on social media and limited sponsorship spots are available.
Contact us via the form below to secure your spot and discuss options.
The movie Race, which releases in feb 2016, is based on the incredible true story of Jesse Owens, the legendary athletic superstar whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy. “Race” is an enthralling film about courage, determination, tolerance, and friendship, and an inspiring drama about one man’s fight to become an Olympic legend.
Axis Stars and its members take the opportunity to be part of this great adventure and become a member of the Race Team by participating in the promotion of the Movie RACE or investing in the film.
Outsmart Labs, as the official marketing partner of the movie Race is happy to give the opportunity to athletes to participate in the promotion of the movie RACE and investing in the film : Support the cause of Jessie Owens , the amazing athlete that became an Olympic Legend.
Axis Stars founders Patrice Arnera and Louis Saha will take the stage alongside some of the World’s greatest tech and sports influencers at next year’s Rise Conference to be held in Hong Kong between May 31st and June 2nd. Axis Stars members Edwin Van der Sar and Rio Ferdinand will also be speakers at the conference. We are looking forward to seeing you in Hong Kong.
The following article relayed from The Sunday times highlight one of the many reasons why Louis Saha and Patrice Arnera created Axis Stars. We place vetting and recommendations at the heart of our solution to prevent such scams to take place and make the Sport Industry a safer place.
Source: Sunday Times / Tom Harper, Richard Belfield and Jon Ungoed-Thomas Published: 8 November 2015
Top players accuse advisers of mis-selling; ‘They feel aggrieved, they feel duped — humiliated’
Among the footballers who invested in film schemes — aggressive, high-risk tax vehicles — are, from left, Craig Short, who has lost an estimated £2.6m, Martin Keown, whose lawyers say they are taking steps to protect his position, Kevin Campbell, who is involved in bankruptcy proceedings and faces losses of up to £7m, and Rio Ferdinand, who says he is happy with his investmentsAmong the footballers who invested in film schemes — aggressive, high-risk tax vehicles — are, from left, Craig Short, who has lost an estimated £2.6m, Martin Keown, whose lawyers say they are taking steps to protect his position, Kevin Campbell, who is involved in bankruptcy proceedings and faces losses of up to £7m, and Rio Ferdinand, who says he is happy with his investments
SCORES of leading footballers face losses totalling an estimated £100m, with some confronting potential ruin, after investing in film schemes and property ventures recommended by two financial advisers operating at the heart of the national game.
Some of the biggest names in British football are among those caught up in the crisis facing some players — including former England and Manchester United stars Rio Ferdinand and Andy Cole, and the Match of the Day pundits Danny Murphy, Martin Keown and Robbie Savage — according to leaked documents seen by The Sunday Times.
More than 100 players were advised by David McKee and Kevin McMenamin, whose firm Kingsbridge Asset Management earned more than £5m in commission on the players’ investments before they tanked or the footballers were hit with tax demands after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) challenged the film schemes.
Kevin Campbell, the former Arsenal and Everton striker, who invested in five film schemes and faces losses of up to £7m, is now at the centre of bankruptcy proceedings. Campbell alleges that he and other footballers have been the victims of “appalling mis-selling”.
Speaking publicly for the first time this weekend, Campbell said: “When I see the paperwork, it’s horrendous. I am not one to be bitter, but £7m is a lot of money.”
Danny Murphy, the former Liverpool midfielder, said he did not feel embarrassed because he considered the investments were mis-sold. “I feel angry” he said.
Craig Short, the former Blackburn captain and current first-team coach, who has lost an estimated £2.6 million, said: “These investments were sold for my kids’ education, for my children’s future.” He added: “I reckon over 100 retired players have been hit by this.
“They feel aggrieved, they feel duped, anger, humiliation, really. It’s wrong, totally wrong.”
He told The Sunday Times that many of his peers were too ashamed to speak about their financial demise.
A spokesman for McKee and McMenamin issued a strong denial and said “without exception” the pair’s clients were always advised of the suitability and risks of the schemes and were advised that such investments needed to be part of a balanced portfolio.
The film schemes sold by Kingsbridge involved footballers putting in some of their own money — which was then supplemented several times over with huge loans from banks, including Coutts. These investments then generated tax rebates for the players. Some of this money was invested in property schemes that subsequently failed.
The documents reveal Ferdinand was the biggest investor in film schemes — with nearly £24m in four partnerships, including loans. The former England captain faces large tax demands, but his advisers say he put in less than £5m of his own money, has not suffered losses or unexpected tax demands, and is happy with his investments.
Ferdinand has, however, lost an estimated £2.5m on properties in Spain and Florida recommended by Kingsbridge.
Cole, one of the most decorated strikers in English football, is in three film schemes worth almost £8m and faces substantial losses and tax liabilities. Murphy, Savage and Keown face tax bills of several million pounds.
Kingsbridge emails, documents, memos and other correspondence seen by The Sunday Times reveal the financial advisory firm invested and managed almost £400m of its clients’ money, including loans, between 2003 and 2007.
By far the most expensive investment made on the footballers’ behalf was more than £100m in film-scheme partnerships — aggressive, high-risk tax vehicles. Some have been challenged by HMRC as tax-avoidance schemes.
Coutts, the private bank that provides services to the royal family, lent Kingsbridge clients £40m for the schemes. The bank said it did not advise the clients and was not asked to advise them on the merits of the investments.
Some of the tax rebates generated by the schemes were invested in properties, many of which lost money for the players. The deals, however, generated hundreds of thousands of pounds in commission for the advisers’ firm.
The leaked documents show the amount from each footballer that Kingsbridge invested in each film scheme over a four-year period.
The risks were usually set out in the small print of the documents provided to the players, but they claim these were not explained to them.
The firm banked a total of £3m in commissions on those ventures, with the lion’s share generated by McKee and McMenamin.
The pair said their clients were fully appraised of the risks, that they never sought to benefit financially at the expense of their clients, and that their alignment of interests has always been clear.
Commissions paid to Kingsbridge were routinely disclosed in sales literature and the pair say during the period in question they did not personally receive any commissions earned on the players’ investments.
The footballers’ current representatives say the players may have been mis-sold the schemes. They claim the film schemes were not suitable investments, given the short career of footballers.
McKee and McMenamin said while there were countless examples of clients who have prospered financially from the pair’s expertise, given the nature of investing there would always be situations where clients lose money: “The fact that HMRC retrospectively ruled against many of these schemes clearly had a significant and unexpected impact across the whole industry. It should be noted that out of thousands of clients, only a very small proportion were introduced to these types of schemes.”
The documents, seen by The Sunday Times, also reveal a system of undisclosed payments operated by Kingsbridge. The company paid a percentage of the commission earned on each deal as “introducer fees” to companies including Proactive, the football agency founded by Paul Stretford, who represents Wayne Rooney, the England and Manchester United star.
All the players interviewed by The Sunday Times said they had no knowledge of the payments. It is understood McKee and McMenamin’s position is that there was no requirement to disclose such arrangements at the relevant time.
Stretford said he never personally received any payments from Kingsbridge as commission. He introduced players to Kingsbridge openly and acted in their best interests and not for personal financial gain.
Stuart Cotton, a former senior HMRC investigator who now represents several players, has estimated the total losses and tax liabilities each player is facing from film scheme investments. He said: “The estimated £100m is just a fraction of the losses. From what I have seen the total liabilities will be well over £1bn. These players were sold film tax schemes which were totally inappropriate, especially for those at the end of the career.”
A three-month investigation by The Sunday Times, including interviews with eight former Premier League footballers, also reveals:
Several players say they did not know that McKee and McMenamin, through a front company, had an interest in a property deal in Spain the pair sold to the players
Kingsbridge earned £570,000 in commission on a failed property venture in Florida. Footballers, including Rooney and Ferdinand, ended up losing £16m on the deal
Clients of Kingsbridge, including Ferdinand, bought 14 Florida boat docks each worth up to £45,000. Some of these docks are now worthless because the owners have no access to the waterside.
McKee and McMenamin say they personally invested in the Florida investment on the same terms as the footballers and it is understood their investment has also depreciated.
They say that without exception, clients were always made aware of the products in which they were invested. It is understood that Kingsbridge maintain that all interests in property deals were fully disclosed to their clients.
Blackburn coach Short told The Sunday Times that many of his peers were too ashamed to speak about their financial demise.
Murphy is one of the few willing to publicly speak out. “We were the victims and you shouldn’t feel ashamed, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed,” he said. “We were just young lads trying to better ourselves and secure our future. I’m not ashamed to put my name out because we’ve got to expose this crisis.”
A statement issued on behalf of McKee and McMenamin said they never sought to benefit financially at the expense of their clients. It stated there were “countless” examples of clients who had prospered from the advisers’ advice.
It added that the pair sold film schemes when the financial industry considered such products had benefits. It warned that such investments need to be part of a balanced portfolio. They said some individuals approached the advisers with the “sole intention” of investing in the film schemes. The statement said: “Without exception clients were always made aware of the products in which they were invested.”
Axis Stars has been officially invited by the NFL and we will be speaking from the sidelines at the end of the 3rd Quarter of today’s game between the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Yesterday, our founders Louis Saha and Patrice Arnera attended the NFL VIP Party and had a chance to stand very close to the Lombardi Trophy. The closest they will ever get to a Super Bowl…?