It’s long been threatened, but now it’s coming true. UK entrepreneurs are deciding that the sheer cost of running a business in the UK is becoming prohibitive, and are moving overseas.
Today, announcing some pretty reasonable results, the colourful former hot-dog salesman Mark Dixon announced that his serviced office business would be relocating in October this year. It was, said the FT, "creating a new UK-listed, Jersey incorporated holding company with a head office and tax residency in Luxembourg." The decision follows yesterday’s announcements by two major UK businesses (asset manager Henderson and engineering group Charter) that they too would be moving offshore.
Dixon said: "Tax is one reason (for the move) but we have had this idea for a long time and see it as a way to internationalise the business."
A couple of years back, a finance executive at HSBC floated this notion publicly. Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising group WPP, has mulled on the possibility. (Its major growth regions are, like Regus, in Asia.) Now the chickens are coming home to roost. Expect major political fall-out in the next few days.
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