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Divorce, Death Threats And Data Centres

High Court - Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2

Police investigated a plot to assassinate data centre mogul and former Global Switch boss Andy Ruhan, The Daily Mail reports.

Ruhan, who pioneered data centres in the U.K. as founder of m£4.5B Global Switch, was described in court as "the most successful tycoon you've never heard of."

The claims of an assassination plot arose in the course of divorce proceedings between Ruhan and Tania Richardson-Ruhan at the High Court in London.

In 1997, Birmingham-based Ruhan married into the Richardson property dynasty founded by Black County brothers Don and Roy Richardson. Richardson Developments was behind the 1.6M SF Merry Hill shopping centre in Dudley, which opened in 1990 and is now owned by intu.

The court was told Cheshire Police investigated an alleged assassination plot in 2016. Richardson-Ruhan was questioned during divorce proceedings about paying a man to "get rid of Mr. Ruhan," but denied doing so. Nobody was charged as a result of the investigation.

Ruhan's eclectic career includes a spell as a member of the board of the Lotus Formula One team, and ownership of a string of hotels. In 2002 Ruhan survived a near-fatal helicopter crash in Shropshire.

Ruhan founded Global Switch in 1998 and rode the dot-com boom selling stakes in a fast-growing business to Chelsfield in 2000 and 2002. However, the bursting of the dot-com bubble forced Global Switch into losses. By 2007 the business was under the full control of the Reuben brothers, David and Simon, following their takeover of Chelsfield.

In December 2016 the Reuben brothers sold a 49% stake to Chinese investors in a deal valued at £2.4B.

The Global Switch sales earned Ruhan more than £100M, according to the Financial Times. He returned to the property market in 2005 and in 2012 U.S. data centre firm Digital Realty Trust bought a portfolio from his company Sentrum for £715M.