James Middleton's firm Boomf is due to go into administration

Duchess of Cambridge’s brother struggles to emulate their parent’s party business success as James Middleton’s marshmallow firm Boomf is due to go into administration

The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents have made a fortune from their party paraphernalia business, but her brother is struggling to emulate their success.

The Daily Mail can disclose that James Middleton’s marshmallow firm, Boomf, is due to go into administration.

The company, which Mr Middleton, 34, set up in 2013 to sell personalised marshmallows, has asked the courts to appoint administrators. According to its latest accounts, Boomf was carrying almost £2million of accumulated trading losses, with ongoing losses down from £3million.

The Daily Mail can disclose that James Middleton’s marshmallow firm, Boomf, is due to go into administration

Boomf’s investors include James Matthews, the husband of Mr Middleton’s sister Pippa, greetings card company Moonpig founder Nick Jenkins and former VoucherCodes supremo Duncan Jennings.

Despite the retained balance sheet losses, the company was £1.3million in the black at the date of the accounts, with £3.2million in share capital offsetting the ongoing losses. 

Last weekend, Boomf was reported to have been ‘sold’ to a photography company, Splento. Its chief executive, Roman Grigoriev, declined to say how much Splento had paid. He said: ‘I cannot possibly comment on whether investors might lose money.’

He said Splento would keep using the name of Boomf, which also sold greetings cards that explode in a shower of confetti when opened.

Despite the retained balance sheet losses, the company was £1.3million in the black at the date of the accounts, with £3.2million in share capital offsetting the ongoing losses

The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents have made a fortune from their party paraphernalia business, but her brother is struggling to emulate their success

‘Of course the brand name will remain,’ he said. ‘I cannot possibly comment on potentially calling in administrators. Once we’ve eased into the business, we are planning loads of amazing things and growing the company way beyond what it was.’

Mr Middleton declined to comment. He has previously described himself an ‘ideas’ man who struggled ‘with the minutiae of running a business’. 

He dropped out of Edinburgh University to focus on business ventures, starting the Cake Kit Company in 2007. That was dissolved in 2015. In 2011, he registered three more companies, Nice Cakes, Nice Wine and Nice Group London.

His most recent venture was setting up Ella & Co – a company for the ‘happiness and wellbeing’ of dogs. He said he’d been inspired to form it by his therapist.

His parents, Michael and Carole, started their own mail-order business, Party Pieces, in 1987, and it became highly successful. Mrs Middleton said recently that she had no plans to slow down.

‘They say if you do a job you enjoy, you don’t work a day in your life, and I truly feel like that; even when it’s very busy,’ she said. ‘I spend a lot of time with young people, which can help keep anyone young. I hope I haven’t become set in my ways, which can perhaps age you.’

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