A company used by Baroness Michelle Mone to sell fake tan she claims cost £1million to develop is worth less than £25,000, according to accounts.
Ubeauty Global, which is behind her UTan range, had net assets of just £23,636 last year, newly lodged files at Companies House have revealed.
The Glasgow-born entrepreneur, who became a Tory peer in 2015, has previously said UTan took one of her former companies three years and seven figures to get right.
But Ubeauty Global’s accounts, which were signed off by Lady Mone last week and cover the period from November 2014 to April 2016, are more modest in scale.
They state the firm had current assets of £65,669 in April, including £46,703 of stocks.
There was also £17,413 “cash at bank and in hand” and £1,553 due from debtors.
However this was offset by £42,133 owed to creditors which left net assets of only £23,536.
Lady Mone declares her directorship of the firm on her Lords register of interests, which says the “company’s business is tanning and beauty range of products, including UTan”.
In a clip now on YouTube, she explained the history of UTan at a trade fair in July 2012.
She said: “I spent about three years developing UTan and spent over £1million.
“I took on the best scientists, one of the best chemists, probably the person in the tanning industry worldwide.
“They then found out... what’s in the tanning products can cause cellulite. So they came out with USculpt technology, which is in UTan, and it fights back against cellulite.
“It’s a great product. All the magazines are raving about it. I think it’s a real winner.”
Lady Mone’s website describes UTan as “one of the UK’s bestselling tan products”.
Ubeauty Global was originally established as a limited company in November 2014 with the Tory peer as its sole director and shareholder.
A year later, she converted it to an unlimited company, which meant she did not have to publish some financial data.
Ms Mone, 45, said in her 2012 interview that UTan was “patent pending worldwide”.
Public records show the UK patent application was filed in May 2012 by MJM International Ltd, the Ultimo bra company Ms Mone and her former husband founded in 1996.
In October 2013, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) flagged up what it called “major points” with the application, and said it had found three prior patents from elsewhere in the world “indicating lack of novelty or inventive step”.
An IPO spokesman said yesterday: “We can confirm that this application is live and currently going through the patent examination process.”
Lady Mone has been approached for comment.