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Duchess of York facing massive lawsuit over failed investment firm

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 29, 2023

The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and former chairman of Ofcom, Lord Grade, find themselves in a tense predicament following the insolvency of Gate Ventures, their media investment company.

The pair and other directors are facing a whopping £19 million lawsuit instigated by liquidators seeking to recover the company's debts, as reported by the Daily Mail.

According to recent revelations by The Sunday Times, the controversy swirls around £500,000 of “unexplained” loans, which were allegedly made out to Ferguson's personal businesses.

One such loan, amounting to £232,000, was made to her tea and dinnerware company, Ginger & Moss, and remains unpaid.

Liquidators Reject Duchess's Offer of Repayment

News reports suggest that the Duchess of York recently proposed a repayment plan, but her offer was deemed insufficient and promptly declined.

The company's financial entanglements have triggered serious legal concerns, casting a cloud of uncertainty over the high-profile figures involved.

"The Duchess's offer of repayment was so low that it was rejected," The Sunday Times reported.

Gate Ventures: A Media Investment Gone Wrong

Gate Ventures had embarked on a high-profile venture, backing big-name productions like Sunset Boulevard and 42nd Street on the West End.

However, financial turmoil seems to have engulfed the firm, culminating in this multi-million-pound lawsuit.

Remarkably, the firm succeeded in amassing an estimated £24 million, primarily sourced from smaller investors based in the Far East. The investors were purportedly drawn to the company by its celebrity directors.

Investments and Loans under Scrutiny

The Sunday Times further alleges that a significant portion of the funds were distributed as investments and loans to companies with links to the firm's directors.

This revelation could illuminate the “unexplained” loans made out to the Duchess's businesses but also raises broader questions about the firm's management and financial practices.

"A substantial chunk of the investments and loans were made to companies linked to the directors," the paper reported.