Rishi Sunak's wife, Akshata Murty, to close firm Catamaran Ventures UK

Rishi Sunak's wife, Akshata Murty, to close firm Catamaran Ventures UK

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's wife, Akshata Murty, will shut down her venture capital firm Catamaran Ventures UK, according to company filings. Catamaran Ventures UK, giving little details of the decision, said its directors 'have decided to liquidate the company'.

Sunak and Murty co-founded the company in 2013 and was backed by Infosys founder and billionaire Narayana Murthy. In April 2015, Sunak resigned as a director-in-chief, just before he was elected as an MP.

The investment firm holds $1 billion worth of assets, more than 8.320 crore rupees, according to its website. The most recent Catamaran Ventures UK balance sheet in 2022 had placed the value of its investments at £3.8 million, a slight increase from the £3.5 million from 2021.

In 2021, its cash holdings fell to £21,890 from just below £400,000 in 2022.

In the past, Catamaran Ventures UK's operations have been under microscope, as it emerged that a number of startups it backed received cash infusions through taxpayer-backed schemes or owed money to HM Revenue and Customs.

The New Craftsmen furniture firm collapsed after receiving taxpayer-funded loans for its products, causing it to collapse into liquidation. The policies were put in place while Sunak was chancellor.

Another was Mrs Wordsmith. The education firm secured its funding from Sunak, which was conceived to help small startups during the pandemic. She later collapsed, owing HMRC an additional £249,000.

Digme Fitness was another investment, which included the gym Digme Fitness. Despite being put into administration with more than £6.1 million in VAT andPAYE taxes owing to the company, it received Covid furlough payments of up to £630,000.

Earlier this year, Labour leadership leader Sir Kier Starmer called out Sunak and Murty after studying Hall received close to £350,000 from Innovate UK, a publicly funded body.

In May, Starmer said there are questions to answer in relation to this and said there appeared to be an 'emerging pattern of behaviour here'.

In the past, Murty's financial arrangements have been a point of discussion during Sunak's presidency. Sunak was criticized for revealing that his wife had 'nondom' tax status, allowing her to legally minimize tax on dividends from Infosys, which were worth an estimated £11.5 million in the last financial year. She subsequently agreed to pay tax in the UK on her worldwide income.

Her holdings in the childcare company Koru Kids were later a contentious issue, after Sunak was found to have breached parliament's code of conduct by failing to declare it while being questioned by MPs earlier this year.

Infosys promoter Murty is a co-founder. Akshata Murty is shown holding 4,89,57,096 Infosys shares, which is 1.07 percent of the total paid-up capital of the company.

On Friday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with students at the British Council in Delhi.