Home » Wealthy Ventriglia family of Zambia faces off in yet another legal saga over Zambezi Portland Cement

Wealthy Ventriglia family of Zambia faces off in yet another legal saga over Zambezi Portland Cement

by Chidi Emenike

The wealthy Ventriglia family’s Zambezi Portland Cement in Zambia is embroiled in fresh legal proceedings over its ownership. 

According to reports, Phesto Musonda, a former director at the company, is allegedly seeking to wrest control of a share in the leading cement producer. 

A media source reported that: “Proceedings at the Court of Appeal are ongoing against businessman Phesto Musonda. Mr. Musonda, a former director of the company, allegedly attempted to take control of part of the company’s plant in September 2021. Unrest has also been reported at the cement producer’s plant with youths throwing stones at workers.”

Earlier, in 2018, the High Court of Zambia ended a 10-year ownership feud over the company and awarded the Ventriglia family full ownership of the business. 

The resolution followed a long-standing battle between the Ventriglia family and Rajan Mahtani, a controversial businessman and financier. The latter claimed that he received a 58-percent stake in the company as a reward for helping the mega-rich family raise their initial capital years ago. Meanwhile, the family insists he has no claim to the stake, asserting full company ownership. 

It was alleged that the family approached Mahtani at the time, who was then chairman of Finance Bank in Zambia, as they sought to raise more than $100 million in loans to fund the company’s operations. The latter claimed that he reached a verbal agreement with the family to sell a 58-percent stake in the cement company to his investment vehicle, Finsbury Investments, for a discounted $60 million, as a reward for his efforts to help secure the required capital. 

Further investigations revealed that Rajan never paid the discounted fee and he forged a company share certificate, thereby nullifying his claims. 

The Ventriglia family is one of the wealthiest families in Zambia, having migrated there in 1957.  

Founded in 2005, Zambezi Portland Cement is a cement manufacturing company in the industrial city of Ndola. 

In June, the company expanded its production capacity to 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum after securing 23 million euro for the project.

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