A company linked to the husband of Tory party member Baroness Michelle Mone paid nearly £10 million for a mansion in one of London’s most exclusive areas in late 2020, months after a medical goods supplier with connections to the couple spent more than £ 200 million in government won contracts.
A company called Chester Ventures, set up in the Isle of Man in early December 2020, paid £9.25m for 4 Chester Square in Belgravia later that month, according to Land Registry documents.
A spokesman for the Knox group of companies, founded and chaired by Mone’s husband Douglas Barrowman, confirmed that “Chester Ventures is a real estate development company within the group. 4 Chester Square was acquired for redevelopment in 2020 using group internal resources and external bank facilities.”
The spokesperson added that the property is not personally owned by multimillionaire investor Barrowman or Mone, founder of lingerie brand Ultimo.
The Knox group of companies provides wealth planning, investment sourcing and fiduciary services to corporate and personal clients, according to its website, which lists an office in the Isle of Man.
Chester Ventures bought 4 Chester Square as an investment and will resell it following a renovation that is currently underway, the Knox group said.
Details of the purchase come amid Mone’s investigation into allegations about the colleague’s ties to PPE Medpro, a company that won more than £200 million in government contracts to supply personal protective equipment, including surgical gowns, during the Covid-19 outbreak. pandemic without a public tender after she lobbied ministers.
The purchase of 4 Chester Square was completed on 31 December 2020, six months after PBM Medpro was awarded two contracts worth £80m and £122m to supply PBM to the NHS.
Barrowman, who has previously distanced himself from PPE Medpro and denied any wrongdoing, received £65m in profits from the company in 2020, according to documents accessed by the Financial Times.
A sum of £28.8 million was later transferred to a trust whose beneficiaries included Mone and her children.
Last year, after Mone denied any involvement with PPE Medpro, it emerged that she had been the “referral source” between the government and PPE Medpro, earning it a place in the government’s “high priority job” for PPE procurement.
In April, the National Crime Agency raided multiple properties associated with Mone and Barrowman as part of an investigation into PPE Medpro.
Last week, the government launched legal proceedings against the company to recover the cost of millions of surgical gowns that were deemed unfit and never used.
PPE Medpro has said it would “rigorously defend” itself against the “cynical” legal action, stating that the kit was not used because the government ordered too much equipment with a short lifespan.
It said the gowns were delivered on time, with the right quality standards, at 50 percent of the price the government had previously paid.
Mon, who denies any wrongdoing, announced this month that she was taking a leave of absence from the House of Lords to “clear her name”.
The title of 4 Chester Square is registered with Chester Ventures whose sole corporate director is Quantum Directors. Quantum’s directors are Anthony Page and Rebecca Duke, both of whom are employed by the Knox group.
Page is also a director and sole registered owner of PPE Medpro in the UK.