In 2011 Guido produced a video highlighting Guardian Media Group’s financial hypocrisies, provoking a rambling article from editor Alan Rusbridger and another self-justifying piece in the paper blaming the decision to place hundreds of millions in assets offshore on their investment partners Apax.
Rusbridger argued essentially that it is a tough world for his newspaper so they can’t be pure in their business practices. A transparently self-serving argument. It remains the case that despite the Guardian’s high-mindedness it has tax dodging in its DNA. The original trust structure was set up by CP Scott to avoid inheritance taxes. That was wound up in 2008 to exploit a loophole enabling them to pay zero capital gains tax on £307 million in profits. But they haven’t stopped there.
Guido checked with the Cayman’s company registrar yesterday to see if a certain controversial tax-exempt corporation was still operating. In 2008 The Guardian claimed GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, a GMG-owned company, would be transferred into their investment partner Apax’s offshore structures, normally when this happens there is a name change. The name is unchanged to this day, strongly suggesting the ownership is unchanged. In the spirit of their Offshore Secrets investigation into tax havens, sham companies and nominee directors, perhaps it is time the Guardian explained why
- If GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited holds no assets, why have its owners continued to pay registration fees since 2007 so it can remain an active company?
- If it does hold assets what is the total present value of GMG and associated companies’ assets held via the Cayman Islands or other offshore tax havens?
- Does GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited have “sham” nominee directors, if so, who are they?
There may well be an innocent explanation, these are the sort of questions they ask of others…
Further reading on the Guardian‘s tax hypocrisy: