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From Zero to Hero… The Incredible Story of American LNG, Personified

From Zero to Hero… The Incredible Story of American LNG, Personified

Mezzaluna, Mr. Souki and the Journey to the Top

“If you keep digging, digging, digging, you find something.”
~ Charif Souki

O.J. Simpson died last month. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that.

Well, I guess I sort of have been. I’d been busy working on the latest issue of Crisis Investing, so I only found out about it over the weekend. But, as I caught up on media reports about his “legacy,” I couldn’t help but think about a different yet parallel story… and one that has important investment implications for us.

And that’s the story of Charif Souki, an American restaurateur-turned-energy titan.

In the 90s, Charif owned an Italian restaurant in West L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood. It was called Mezzaluna and, coincidentally, it was where Nicole Simpson had her last meal on June 12, 1994.

On that fateful night, Simpson’s mother left her glasses there, so a waiter from the restaurant, Ron Goldman, went to Simpson’s home to return them. Shortly after midnight, Goldman was found dead with Simpson outside her condo.

The Switch 

After the murders, Mezzaluna was swarmed by reporters, photographers, and curious tourists. People bombarded employees for details, even asking about Simpson’s final meal. Charif was appalled by the media frenzy – “the morbid curiosity, the lack of taste and decency of people, was pretty astonishing,” he would later remark. It was then that he made the decision to sell Mezzaluna and venture into something new.

After some deliberating, he made the unlikely transition to the oil-and-gas industry.

His first big idea was to import cheap, plentiful natural gas from the Middle East in the form of liquefied natural gas, or LNG.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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