PRIME minister Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty has decided to wind down her startup investment fund Catamaran Ventures UK.
“Directors have decided to liquidate the company,” Catamaran said in a filing to the Companies House on Wednesday (27), without giving any details.
The move comes after it emerged that the education technology business Study Hall in which Catamaran had a stake was given a government grant of £349,976 last year.
Mrs Wordsmith, another education firm backed by Catamaran, secured funding from the pandemic investment scheme Future Fund designed by Sunak. But Mrs Wordsmith collapsed months after it received the funding, owing £249,000 to HMRC.
Furniture company New Craftsmen, also backed by Catamaran, benefited from the fund but the firm collapsed in November last year.
However, there is no suggestion that Sunak had any involvement in picking beneficiaries of any government scheme.
But he was criticised in March for failing to declare his wife’s shares in a childcare agency called Koru Kids that was poised to benefit from a pilot scheme proposed in the budget to incentivise people to become childminders. Parliament’s commissioner for standards, however, said the breach was inadvertent.
Murthy, who holds a 0.91 per cent stake in her father’s Indian software company Infosys, founded Catamaran in 2013.
According to its latest filing, Catamaran’s investment value as of December 2022 was £3.8 million, compared to £3.5m a year ago. But its cash declined from close to £400,000 to £21,890 during the period.
The prime minister’s office has not commented on Catamaran’s liquidation plan.
Murty held “non-dom” tax status, which she gave up following criticism.