UK Ministers Waste £150m Buying Defected Face Masks From ‘Family Office’ Offshore

LAGOS AUGUST 7TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Government ministers splurged at least £150 million buying masks with the wrong kind of straps from a ‘family office’ owned through an offshore holding firm.

Ayanda Capital Limited won a £252 million contract to supply an undisclosed number of face masks to the Department of Health and Social Care in April, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, without any competitive tender process.

The firm – which describes itself as “a London-based family office focused on a broad investment strategy” – is owned through a Mauritius-based holding company and headed by Tom Horlick, a former director of investment bank Kleinwort Benson.

According to The Times, the contract included an order for 50 million high-strength ‘FFP2’ medical masks – costing between £150-180 million, comprising the entire health system’s expected annual consumption.

Officials have now admitted that the 43.5 million Chinese-made FFP2 did not meet the requisite standards and could not be used in the NHS, legal documents revealed. They have elastic ear loops instead of straps that tie around the back of the wearer’s head, raising concerns that they cannot be securely fixed.

Ayanda Capital – which is based in London – has no history of PPE procurement, and claims to specialise in “currency trading, offshore property, private equity and trade financing”. The government paid the company £41.25 million of the £252 million contract up front.

The deal was brokered by Andrew Mills who, as TLE revealed last month, is one of twelve advisers to the Board of Trade, chaired by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss. According to LinkedIn, Mills has been a ‘Senior Board Adviser’ to Ayanda Capital since March.

The London Economic

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Posted by on Aug 7 2020. Filed under Health, International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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