Tycoon facing further controversy
Mone quits diet pills firm following losses at Ultimo
Michelle Mone has quit her diet pills business, it was revealed today. Her departure from the board of TrimSecrets came ahead of the new government start-up adviser’s elevation to the House of Lords (pictured) and after it was revealed her Ultimo Brands business made a big loss.
The 44-year-old has been on a fact-finding mission of under privileged areas of Britain to learn about their difficulties in starting businesses.
She is no longer involved with Ultimo and her resignation from TrimSecrets leaves Baroness Mone of Mayfair with only one directorship in a company that is not dormant – the year-old Ubeauty. It has never filed any accounts.
It was revealed earlier this week that her former lingerie company Ultimo Brands has reported a deepening loss from £48,673 in 2013 to £388,000 last year.
Ms Mone is no longer involved with the company after severing her ties earlier this year as speculation about her admission to the Lords as a Tory peer was hitting the media.
The Glasgow-born businesswoman has distanced herself from Ultimo’s poor performance.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said: “Michelle has no involvement in Ultimo either as a shareholder or as a director.
“She has not seen any financial statements or reports and would not expect to have done for a business which is owned and run by others.”
The accounts show assets of about £5.4 million of which £4.2m is described as ‘Goodwill’.
Ms Mone, who famously grew up in the impoverished east end of Glasgow, was appointed as a government adviser to help stimulate start-up activity in some of Britain’s poorer areas.
Some business leaders say she is unsuited to the task because of her limited achievement and there was further criticism when she was given use of a government Jaguar despite her claims to be a multi-millionaire.
Soon after her appointment in August Daily Business reported that her company MJM International struggled to make a decent profit and had liabilities of £287,168 in its last trading year before it was wound up.
The accounts revealed that Mone had to pump some of her own cash into MJM in the form of a £40,915 loan.
A year earlier she bought out her estranged husband, leaving both with considerable debts.
Before its latest difficulties, MJM was bailed out via a loan from her friend and mentor Sir Tom Hunter. She now runs a fake tanning company and diet pill business.
Yesterday, she was attacked for claiming that she ‘loved’ having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, she suggested the condition had been ‘useful’ in helping run her lingerie company Ultimo.
After backlash from sufferers, who accused her of being ‘ignorant’, the entrepreneur was then forced to say that she had a ‘mild’ version and had simply learned to ‘adjust’.