London Resort Company Holdings, the company behind the London Paramont Entertainment Resort project, and its parent company Kuwaiti European Holdings (KEH), have today announced a series of changes to their leadership structure as they look to progress with plans to submit the Development Consent Order for the multi-billion pound project later this year.
Following his extensive involvement with the London Paramount Project, David Testa has stepped down from his role as Chief Executive Officer and has ceased his roles with all KEH Group companies. He will be replaced with immediate effect by Humphrey Percy who will assume the role of CEO for LRCH in addition to his current role as Group CEO for KEH. Mr Percy will be joined by Mike Morrison who has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, and Kevin Doyle who will coordinate the submission of the Development Consent Order and be responsible for its successful submission. Speaking about these latest appointments, Humphrey Percy, Group CEO, KEH, said:
“David Testa has decided to step back from the KEH Group and cease his roles within all Group Companies, including LRCH (London Paramount). David’s input into the project has been hugely appreciated and we wish him well in the next stage of his career. We are now entering a new exciting phase of the project as we carry out our final stage of consultation prior to submitting our Development Consent Order (DCO).
“This announcement reaffirms our determination to submit our application for the Entertainment Resort. After many months of review, revision and reappraisal we have a robust business plan for building a world-class entertainment resort in the UK and are ready to push forward. We are working closely with the local authorities, landowners and local community, as well as our other stakeholders, to deliver a global destination attraction.
“I am delighted to be directly overseeing the plans for the proposed Entertainment Resort in North Kent and welcome Mike and Kevin in their new roles as CFO and DCO Coordinator, respectively. Having held senior positions at Morgan Stanley and WestLB AG, amongst others, Mike has a wealth of experience in property, business management and accounting that will be incredibly beneficial to LRCH. Kevin has worked on the project from the start, knows the team and the local area extremely well and played a key role in the delivery of some of the largest entertainment projects across the globe.
“I am confident that now, we have the team, the partners and the plans in place to deliver a truly global destination attraction.”
This latest reshuffle follows the departure last August of Fenlon Dunphy who had played a central role throughout the consultation process for the proposed £3.2 billion development on the Swanscombe Peninsular.
The news also follows recent reports that a promised £100 million investment from Chinese investment company SinoFortone have been thrown into doubt after the company was refused a loan from a state-backed lender due to the fact that the London Paramount project did not intend to use any Chinese engineers or technology. It also emerged that, despite promising investments to a number of projects, SinoFortone had so far only completed the acquisition of a Buckinghamshire pub for £2 million. LRCH have attempted to offer reassurances regarding the promised investment from SinoFortone with Andy Martin, on behalf of LRCH, stating:
“SinoFortone publicly announced their intention to invest in October 2015 and that commitment is unchanged.
“We’re still working hard behind the scenes, developing our business plan and preparing our planning application for submission later this year.
“It’s no secret that this has taken longer than we would have liked, but this is a huge project and we’re determined to get it right.
“We’ll be sharing more news soon and look forward to updating everyone on the project.”
The London Paramount Entertainment Resort project has faced a series of delays with a fifth stage of public consultation still yet to take place, despite having been originally planned for early 2016. In June 2016 it was also confirmed that the submission on the Development Consent Order was also being delayed by 12 months with the application now expected to be submitted for examination in late 2017 with a view to the Resort finally opening in 2022 – a delay of three years from the original proposed opening date of summer 2019.