Embee investor connected to Saudi princess

A diamond in Embee Diamonds's Central Avenue facility. Herald File Photo

Embee Diamonds has a new major shareholder with links to Saudi Arabian royalty.

While chief operating officer Evert Botha has been tight lipped about the deal, corporate filings reveal the identity of two investors who recently bought a huge stake in the family business.

As of February, Evert Botha, Mike Botha and Susanna Botha owned nearly all of Embee Diamonds. But in a March filing, Rajae Omrane and Ismail El Lakkis suddenly held 37 per cent of the shares in the company.

The two show up as directors on corporate filings for another company, Royal KSA Inc. On its website, Royal KSA says it has “connections to government authorities and highly influential entities in the Arab Gulf Countries, USA, Canada and Africa.”

El Lakkis, in particular, seems to move in lofty circles. According to an Embee press release announcing an earlier project, he is the personal representative of a Saudi Arabian princess – a daughter of the late King Saud.

Evert Botha, who is also a city councillor, said the investors will help the company repay creditors and expand their operations.

“The new shareholders we have brought on board are busy facilitating a substantial foreign investment,” he said. “It allows us to deal with all of our obligations, current shareholders and long-term debt.”

For more on this story, see the April 19 print or e-editions of the Daily Herald.