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Administrators probe £520,000 loans made to the Duchess of York from troubled entertainment company

Administrators probe £520,000 loans made to the Duchess of York from Lord Grade’s troubled entertainment company

  • Duchess was a director of the company between July 2017 and December 2019
  • She received a £290,000 personal loan from Gate, while Ginger & Moss, a tea company that she set up, received a loan of £232,000
  • Loss-making theatre investments linked to Lord Grade of Yamouth are also being investigated 
  • The duchess is understood to believe that Gate also owes her money 

The administrators of an entertainment company are investigating a number of unexplained transactions, including over half a million pounds in loans made to the Duchess of York.

Insolvency practitioners from Quantuma are looking into the loans written by Gate Ventures to the duchess, who was a former director of the company, along with loss-making theatre investments linked to Lord Grade of Yarmouth, 77, the Chair of Gate, as reported by The Times.   

The Duchess of York, 60, was a director of the company between July 2017 and stepped down in December. 

Insolvency practitioners from Quantuma are looking into the loans written by Gate Ventures to the Duchess of York pictured with Zheng Youngxiong, an investor who claimed Gate Ventures owes him £2.5 million

Insolvency practitioners from Quantuma are investigating loss-making theatre investments linked to Lord Grade of Yamouth, 77, the Chair of Gate and former boss of the BBC

Insolvency practitioners from Quantuma are investigating loss-making theatre investments linked to Lord Grade of Yamouth, 77, the Chair of Gate and former boss of the BBC

The History of Gate Ventures 

Gate Ventures was founded in 2015 by songwriter and entrepreneur Geoff Morrow.

It has invested in West End shows including Sunset Boulevard and 42nd Street, as well as a string of obscure films in the Far East.

The Duchess of York joined Gate in 2017 as an executive director ‘to assist with the branding and marketing of its products and productions’. 

Lord Grade of Yarmouth, the former BBC boss, was appointed chairman of Gate in December 2017. 

The firm posted a £2.7million loss for the year ended June 30, 2019. 

In August 2019 the company had to fend off administration attempts by the investor, Zheng Yongxiong.  

At the end of September, the High Court in London threw out the lender’s application to put the company into administration. 

The Duchess of York stepped down as director in December 2019. 

The company was placed into administration on March 12. 

The business was placed in administration after it failed to fend of a High Court claim from Zheng Youngxiong, an investor who claimed that the business owes him £2.5 million.

In May, insolvency practitioners from Quantuma began looking into the loans written by Gate Ventures to the duchess.

They are also investing loss-making theatre investments linked to Lord Grade of Yamouth. 

An administrator from Moore Kingston Smith is examining counter-claims made by Gate concerning Mr Zheng’s conduct. 

The duchess is understood to believe that Gate also owes her money and is said to be in discussions with administrators. 

 

She received a £290,000 personal loan from Gate, while Ginger & Moss, a tea company that she set up, received a loan of £232,000.

‘Ginger . . . has not achieved material sales to date. We are investigating loans which have been made, together with how best to optimise this investment for the benefit of creditors,’ administrators recorded in proposals filed at Companies House.

The duchess is understood to believe that Gate also owes her money and is said to be in discussions with administrators.    

The business was placed in administration in March after it failed to fend of a High Court claim from Zheng Youngxiong, an investor who claimed that the business owes him £2.5 million.   

The High Court in London heard that Gate Ventures, was in ‘complete disarray’ and had lost £19million out of £24million invested. 

An administrator from Moore Kingston Smith is examining counter-claims made by Gate concerning Mr Zheng’s conduct. 

Gate was founded in 2015 by songwriter and entrepreneur Geoff Morrow, and has backed West End theatre shows including 42nd Street and Sunset Boulevard. 

Gate Ventures has invested in West End shows including Sunset Boulevard and 42nd Street, as well as a string of obscure films in the Far East.    

Administrators found the company ‘made a number of theatre investments which have generated significant losses. 

The most notable of these was in 42nd Street. 

Insolvency practitioners from Quantuma said  ‘they were investigating the books and records of an entity called GL(42nd ST) with the ‘co-operation of the directors of that company’. Lord Grade, the former boss of the BBC, is among the directors of GL(42nd ST).

Other investigations include investments associated with Gate’s former Chairman Johnny Hon. 

The High Court in March heard how Businessman Dr Johnny Hon invoiced the ‘simply extraordinary’ sum of £4.7million to Gate Ventures.

MailOnline has been unable to contact the Duchess of York to date and has contacted representatives for Lord Michael Grade for comment.

Gate Ventures told MailOnline. ‘Gate Directors have been advised to refer all Gate matters to the administrators Quantuma and hence they are unable to provide any comments at this time.’

Grade is pictured here beside Zheng following an investor roadshow in the Far East

Grade is pictured here to the left of Zheng following an investor roadshow in the Far East

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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