Government Hands £120 Million Covid Test Contract To Company That Didn't Exist 6 Months Ago
The Johnson government has handed a £120 million Covid testing contract to a company that didn't even exist six months ago, has no declared employees, and net assets of just £100.
But you won't find any mention of it on the government's contract finder site.
Immensa Health Clinic Limited was awarded the £119,035,000.00 contract by the Department of Health and Social Care earlier this year, just weeks after the company was formally incorporated on 18 May. There was no competitive process, and no other companies were considered.
The contract, for PCR Covid testing, was even named 'Immensa-PCR Testing Services' after the fledgling company, which seems to be a 'one-man band' owned and run by 39-year-old Italian Andrea Riposati - who appears to already have a job as CEO of Dante Labs, a genome-sequencing start-up based in New York, which Riposati's LinkedIn profile also states as his address.
Immensa's address is given as a block of serviced offices in Mayfair. They have no known other premises, no website, and according to company check site Endole, no reported employees working for them - although the text of the contract states that the services would be performed in the UK. Indeed, the only 'immense' thing about Immensa we were able to find was the immense wad of taxpayers' money the government has handed them...
Strangely, the award notice does not appear on the government's transparency listings, which detail how public money has been spent. We found it on the Tenders Electronic Daily site. The contract reportedly ended in September, although the tender notice was not even published on TED until a month later. It is not clear what services, if any, Immensa delivered.