He seems optimistic about the outcome of the conflict. Entrepreneur Oussama Ammar, the deposed king of French Tech, confirmed this Friday, to Le Parisien, that he is the target of a conviction in the Cayman Islands in the proceedings that oppose him to his former collaborators of the incubator The Family. But the French-Lebanese businessman says he wants to have this decision invalidated "before the right courts".
According to an article in Le Figaro published on Wednesday, Oussama Ammar and two of his companies have been ordered in the Cayman Islands to pay more than seven million euros to The Family, a start-up incubator that he co-founded alongside its current directors, Alice Zagury and Nicolas Colin. His former associates sued him in 2022, accusing him of embezzling funds from one of The Family's companies, located in the Caymans.
In the judgment, it is specified that Oussama Ammar owes more than 7.3 million euros, i.e. the sum of the embezzled amounts and an estimate of the losses denounced by his former collaborators. With this conviction, Oussama Ammar is referenced in international reporting files, Le Figaro said. He has also been affected since 2022 by an order to seize his assets in the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom, according to the newspaper.
A decision "without value", says Ammar
Oussama Ammar confirmed to Le Parisien that he did not intend to appeal the decision. He is counting on his translation before the French, Hong Kong and British courts (concerning the countries where his companies are domiciled) by an "exequatur" (the enforcement in one country of a judgment rendered abroad) to invalidate it.
"This decision has no value. It was obtained in the Cayman Islands without any contradiction. I don't think it will hold up in the right courts. (...) The Family chose to attack in the Cayman Islands and not in France, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. But the courts will never recognize this judgment," he said, adding that the text is "a copy and paste of The Family's claims."
If this decision "were ever to be confirmed, I would be happy to pay what I owe. But let's not forget that at this stage nothing is final, and that there has not yet been any discussion about what they (Alice Zagury and Nicolas Colin, editor's note) owe me," he adds. According to Le Figaro, Alice Zagury and Nicolas Colin say they are preparing the necessary actions to recover the sums requested. An ongoing investigation in London is also due to lead to a trial at the end of 2024.
A self-made man's narrative that persists
Once valued in the French tech world, Oussama Ammar's image has been clearly tarnished with the emergence of the conflict between him and his former associates at The Family. They suspect him of having embezzled funds from the company to invest in the sumptuous hotel estate of Ablon, in Normandy.
In this regard, Oussama Ammar says he is not affected professionally or personally by this conflict, denouncing a "circus" for "two years", as well as a "media trial" generated by the press. "It didn't stop me from being booked at conferences, it didn't affect my ability to do business," he says.
Recently, the businessman has also been remaking himself by investing his time, in particular, on social networks, where he relays his advice and stories of being a "self-made man". Alongside the influential entrepreneur Yomi Denzel, Oussama Ammar has retrained in entrepreneurship training in artificial intelligence, which he frequently promotes at major online conferences. Courses that would allow you to become extremely rich, according to the two internet stars... But the results are yet to be proven.