Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 26th June 2015
A health clinic business co-created by Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, has been closed down after failing to overcome a protracted financial crisis.
Mee Healthcare had been operating 11 clinics around the UK but they have all now closed their doors after the business was entered into liquidation.
At least 38 employees have lost their jobs as a result of the closures with some believed still to be owed money by the company.
According to the Telegraph, Cherie Blair had hoped to see the business develop to the point where it would have as many as 100 health clinics in operation around the UK.
However, it is now thought that former prime minister’s wife might well have lost significant sums of money by backing what has turned out to be a failed venture.
Each of the clinics operated by Mee Healthcare were located in branches of Sainsbury’s around the country, with employees who were to lose their jobs this month being told by bosses to close up and leave keys with managers at their respective supermarkets.
Notes left on the locked doors of clinics after they were closed read: “Dear Customers, It is with deep regret that Mee Healthcare has ceased trading as of 18 June 2015. Unfortunately, Mee Healthcare will be unable to deliver any bookings, any orders, or make refunds of any deposits paid.
“Customers who have paid for goods not yet received should contact their credit or debit card provider for a refund. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Cherie Blair set up Mee Healthcare in collaboration with an American doctor and fund manager, with the company having been financed through an offshore investment fund.
A letter sent to employees in recent weeks by bosses of the company explained that buyers were sought for the business but no sale could be secured. The result was that Mee Healthcare was forced to cease trading with immediate effect.
“For the avoidance of doubt, your current employment is terminated with immediate effect,” a letter sent to employees made clear.
The first Mee clinic was opened in Leeds in March 2012, with plans in place to see 100 more added within a five-year period of rapid growth. However, the pace of expansion was not as anticipated and the company soon began reporting significant losses on a consistent basis.