Rishi Sunak’s Wife invested in Failed Firm that had £300k Taxpayer Loan

Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy invested in a firm that received nearly £300,000 in taxpayer-funded loans which later collapsed.

Will Rishi Sunak's Wife Gain from India Trade Deal?

the value of which has been wiped out.

It has been reported that Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy invested in a furniture firm that received nearly £300,000 in taxpayer-funded loans handed out under policies he implemented while chancellor.

The New Craftsmen collapsed into liquidation in November 2022.

The brand was later sold to Sarah Myerscough, a gallery owner and former company employee.

The unsecured creditors – those who are not guaranteed to receive what they are owed when a company fails – include employees who were owed £75,437, and trade and consumer creditors who were due more than £412,000.

The filings suggest taxpayers also appear to have lost out in two ways.

Lloyds Bank loaned The New Craftsmen £37,500 under the Covid bounce-back loan scheme that was introduced by Mr Sunak in April 2020.

The bank is listed among the unsecured creditors, whose claims exceed the assets in the business by £535,863.

The government also held 450,000 shares in the company via the Future Fund.

The £250 million investment scheme was designed by Mr Sunak and it was intended to help small businesses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the scheme, the government extended loans that would then convert into shares when the companies attracted new funding.

The Guardian reported that the government lent The New Craftsmen £250,000, which was matched by private investors.

The loan was converted into equity, the value of which has been wiped out.

In addition to the government, the company’s shareholder register included several wealthy investors.

Akshata Murthy lost out via the 218,785 shares she owned through Catamaran Ventures UK, a vehicle that invests the vast wealth she derives from a 0.91% stake in her father’s company Infosys.

In 2022, it emerged that Mrs Murthy held ‘nom-dom’ tax status, allowing her to legally minimise tax on dividends.

She later gave up her nom-dom status.

Worth at least £590 million, Mrs Murthy invested some of that wealth and on several occasions, she bought stakes in businesses that later collapsed having received taxpayer support, or with outstanding debts to HM Revenue and Customs.

Catamaran held shares in the publisher Mrs Wordsmith Limited, which collapsed into administration in March 2021 owing £16.3 million, despite having secured £1.3 million from the Future Fund.

According to administrators, despite furloughing staff, the company was not able to “resist the pressure” from creditors, including HMRC.

Companies House filings showed it owed £249,000 to HMRC.

Mrs Murthy also held shares in Lava Mayfair Club, a private members’ gym that failed during the lockdown in 2021, with debts of £374,000.

Another investment, fitness chain Digme Fitness fell into administration in 2021, owing more than £6.1 million in VAT and PAYE taxes, after having received furlough payments of up to £630,000.

She still holds shares in a restaurant business that used a letterbox company in Mauritius in a structure that could allow its backers to avoid taxes in India.

International Market Management (IMM) hoped to build a chain of restaurants across India via franchise agreements with Jamie Oliver and the US fast-food brand Wendy’s.

At the time, the IMM chief executive, Jasper Reid, who manages the venture from New Delhi, said:

“This is a standard approach to companies investing in India and is nothing out of the ordinary.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

  • What's New



  • Polls

    Have you used any Patak's cooking products?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Share to...