LaBelle B. Lance, the wife of former budget director Bert Lance, and four Middle Easterners were identified yesterday as investors allegedly seeking control of Financial General Bankshares, Inc., the $2.2 billion Washington-based banking company.
The names were revealed during a hearing at U.S. District Court on a suit by Financial General to block what the company alleges is a secret and illegal takeover attempt.
At the hearing, some 20 attorneys representing various defendants agreed to a freeze on any further trading in Financial Geneal stock until the next court hearing scheduled for March 22. The court agreed to impose a restraining order on the four Arab investors, but it was not clear how it could be enforced.
In another motion, attorneys for Financial General sought a court order to force Bert Lance, who is also a defendant in the case, to complete his testimony. Lance's attorney, Robert Altman heatedly denied his client was trying to avoid installment of which was taken last week.
Altman charged that Financial General's attorney, Edwin E. McAmis was seeking to "harass and embarass Mr. Lance and to try this in the press." Bert Lance, he said, was currently involved in "a series of meetings with heads of state in Europe in connection with . . . the Friendship Force."
Bert Lance, it was agreed, would return to testify on March 20. The Friendship Force is a people-to-people program founded by President Carter when he was governor of Georgia.
According to McAmis, LaBelle lance bought 13,000 shares of Financial General in January. McAmis said the stock was purchased by her husband, but he used "her funds and it was for her interest."
The stock reportedly was bought through the Lance Co., which a source in Calhoun, Ga., the former budget director's hometown, described as a new company run out of Lance's country home, Lancelot.
LaBelle Lance and the four previously unnamed Arab investors yesterday were added as defendants in the suit.
McAmis alleged that the stock was bought by the four Arabs through Bank of Credit and Commerce International in London, which along with its president, Aga Hasan Abedi, is also a defendant in the suit.
The company is trying to show that the Arabs were used to disguise the alleged takeover attempt. Under federal securities laws, when an individual or a group acquire 5 percent or more of the stock in a publicly held company, this must be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Each of the buyers named as defendants bought less than 5 percent.
The so-called Lance group never filed the document. Yesterday attorneys for Lance and other defendants said a so-called 13D describing the stock acquisition would be filed at the SEC next week. But they made it clear that they were filing under protest because they hold the stock purchases were made by the defendants individually and were not coordinated.
The Arab purchasers of the Financial General shares represent the ruling cities of three oil-rich Middle Eastern nations.
Best known is Shiek Kamal Adham, director of the Saudi Arabian equivalent to the Central Intelligence Agency and long the CIA's contact man in the Saudi government. Adham is the brother-in-law of the late King Faisal and has close ties to Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
Said to be devoting himself now to business affairs, Adham has been an agent for Boeing and Lockheed in aircraft sales and is a key figure in First Arabian Corp., which owns the financially-troubled Bank of the Commonwealth in Detroit.
Two of the buyers are sons of the president of the United Arab Emiriates, Shiek Zayed Bin Sultan An-Nahiyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has the highest per capita income in the world, $33,000 per year.
One block of stock was bought by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince, Sheik Sultan Bin Zaid Al-Nahyan, another in the name of his brother Mohammed, who is believed to be about 12 years old. The youth's interests are managed by Abdullah Darwaish, financial advisor of the royal family.
Less is known of the fourth buyer, Abu Saud Al-Fulaq, reportedly a financial consultant to the ruling family of Kuwait.