A healthcare company backed by the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair owed creditors as much as £5 million when it went out of business in June 2015.
According to reports, Mee Healthcare left a number of creditors very notably out of pocket when it entered liquidation with legal action potentially now set to be taken in relation to the debts left as yet outstanding.
Cherie Blair was involved in the early development of ideas behind Mee Healthcare, which launched in 2011 and was intending to open dozens of clinics and healthcare stores across the UK.
But Ms Blair has since seemingly been keen to distance herself from the endeavour and its origins, insisting that rather than being a founder of the company she was merely a “strong founding supporter”.
However, the former prime minister’s wife was named as the co-founder of a Cayman Island-based investment company called the Allele Fund, which provided initial financial backing for Mee Healthcare.
The Allele Fund is believed to have been established by Ms Blair and an American business partner Gail Lese, with whom she had apparently intended to open close to 100 healthcare clinics around the UK.
However, that ambition proved beyond reach for the business venture which was entered into liquidation last year with only 11 Mee Healthcare stores having ever been opened.
Claims from creditors in relation to the company are now being assessed and sorted through by liquidators assigned to the case.
One investor, Matt Bergman, told the Telegraph newspaper: “I have admired Tony and Cherie Blair for many years and Cherie’s involvement in the company was a major ‘credibility enhancer’ to me in deciding to invest.”
Mr Bergman added that he is considering his legal options in relation to the now defunct Mee Healthcare business into which he is understood to have invested a quarter of a million US dollars.
Several dozen people lost their jobs with little warning when the company, whose ‘stores’ were actually located inside Sainsbury’s supermarket outlets, was entered into liquidation last year.