PRINCE Andrew’s flagship business is hanging by a thread after the company’s offices shut – with just one member of staff left at the firm.
Some 15 staff have resigned from [email protected] Global, which brokers deals between start-ups and wealthy investors, leaving only an accountant to oversee the company.
A spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph the firm “remains in a pause position while its future direction and strategy is determined”.
But a source told the paper there are no plans to relaunch the Dragons’ Den-style project, as it emerged the Duke of York’s close friend Johan Eliasch, a billionaire sports tycoon, had also stepped down from the company.
The brand had already abandoned its base at Buckingham Palace, moving to a nearby office in Central London in January last year.
But the company appears to have left this space, and the office address of its accountant is now the only one on file, according to the Telegraph.
The project was plunged into uncertainty following the Duke of York’s car crash Newsnight interview in November 2019, which focused on his links to US financier and disgraced paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Following the interview, the firm’s charitable arm was wound down as corporate sponsors withdrew support.
Despite the turbulence at the firm, [email protected] Global increased its ongoing profits to £1.2million in the 12 months to March last year, the Daily Mail reports.
The firm had been mulling a relaunch this Spring with a new name, ‘Pitch Connect’ – but this was deemed impossible with the Duke still facing public anger over his ties to Epstein, the Telegraph reports.
“The Duke is grateful to the oversight provided by Johan Eliasch since his appointment in May 2019.
“[email protected] Global remains in a pause position while its future direction and strategy is determined and whilst its operations continue to be significantly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.”
They added the firm was “taking this time to conduct a review of its ownership, structure and governance”, and did not rule out a relaunch of the project in future.
It comes as a report claimed that Prince Andrew and ex Sarah Ferguson's aides contacted an online troll in a bid to discredit the Duke's sex accuser.
The advisers reportedly approached Molly Skye Brown after she claimed to have information proving the infamous photo of Andrew with Virginia Roberts had been "doctored".
Ms Brown called the approach "desperate" and claims she gave the messages to the FBI, it has been reported.
Virginia, a trafficked sex slave of Jeffrey Epstein, alleges she was forced to have sex with the prince three times – claims Andrew denies.
She alleges she first slept with the Duke in London in 2001 – the same night the photograph was taken.
According to the Mail on Sunday, advisers of the Duke and his ex-wife contacted Ms Brown after she trolled Virginia on Twitter for months.
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