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RCL Holding


RCL Holding received $2 million from Hilux Services in September 2014.

RCL Holding was set up in June 2013 by Gervais Martel, the president of the French football club Racing Club de Lens (RC Lens). RCL, which stands for RC Lens, was the financial vehicle used by Hafiz Mammadov to take over the club in 2013 from the French bank Credit Agricole. In 2013, Mammadov’s company, Baghlan Group, announced it would invest $20 million in the club via RCL Holding.

Mammadov, 52, is the founder and owner of Baghlan Group and also financed Atletico Madrid Football Club and FC Porto. Baghlan’s focus is oil exploration, construction and engineering sectors in Azerbaijan. Martel and an RC Lens lawyer told OCCRP that the $2 million represented the first of two installments Mammadov agreed to pay in 2014.

“The payment was made by the shareholder of RCL Holding, Baghlan Group, the parent company of Hafiz Mammadov, the shareholder of RC Lens,” said club lawyer Laurent Schoenstein.

“He made the payment through [Hilux], a company that was presented as controlled by him and part of the Baghlan Group,” Schoenstein said.