We establish a correspondence between simplicial fans, not necessarily rational, and certain foliated compact complex manifolds called LVMB-manifolds (named after Lopez de Medrano, Verjovsky, Meersseman, Bosio-manifolds). In the rational case, Meersseman and Verjovsky have shown that the leaf space is the usual toric variety. We compute the basic Betti numbers of the foliation for shellable fans. When the fan is in particular polytopal, we prove that the basic cohomology of the foliation is generated in degree 2. We give evidence that the rich interplay between convex and algebraic geometries embodied by toric varieties carries over to our nonrational construction. In fact, our approach unifies rational and nonrational cases.