Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taxing Question for Guardian; IN THE AIR

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taxing Question for Guardian; IN THE AIR

Article excerpt

Byline: BY GIDEON SPANIER

THE decision by Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners, co-owners of Top Right Group (formerly known as Emap), to sell its car data subsidiary CAP for an estimated [pounds sterling]175 million raises an interesting question of tax. The reason is that GMG, owner of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper, and its private-equity partner Apax bought Emap in 2008 through a series of companies in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg -- despite the fact that most of Emap, including magazines Broadcast, Retail Week and Nursing Times, is based in the UK. The Guardian admitted at the time that the offshore structure meant the owners could potentially avoid UK tax when it came to selling Emap. So what happens to that [pounds sterling]175 million that GMG and Apax will get for selling CAP to Montagu Private Equity last week? Will any of it end up in Luxembourg? No, the cash won't go offshore, insists Top Right Group, which says the proceeds will be reinvested in the UK company. Just don't expect GMG and Apax to pay any more UK tax than absolutely necessary -- especially if the rest of Top Right is sold offshore.

?RUPERT Murdoch's News Corp reports third-quarter results tonight when it is likely to reveal the size of its mounting bill from the phone hacking scandal and legal settlements. UK accounts revealed a [pounds sterling]239 million hit last month, but the final total is set to be far higher.

?MUCH intrigue about the fact Chancellor George Osborne is submitting only written evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. Some say Osborne should testify in person, like other senior ministers. No one doubts that the Chancellor was close to News Corp's James Murdoch, and Osborne was said to have played a pivotal role in recruiting ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson to be Tory director of communications in 2007. …

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