November 26th, 2012

Guardian’s Offshore Secrets:
Guardian Media Group Cayman Islands Company Still Active

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:


25 Comments

  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    You would have thought they would have checked that before they started their campaign on unmasking tax avoiders…..

    Like

    • 3
      Lord Lucan says:

      They are special and are therefore exempt from taxes the little people must pay.

      Like

      • 18
        Margaret Moran says:

        Come home now, your Lordship. You can do like me, and play too crazy to serve time if convicted; after all, you ARE 78 years old, and a touch of senility is more than possible, nay plausible, at your age. What’s the worst they can do to you now but throw you in Broadmoor, where you’ll get three hots and a cot for the next few years? Play your cards right, and you might skip confinement altogether. They might even do you like that girl who killed those little boys in the 70’s, and give you a new identity so you’re not bothered, so as not to embarrass your children.

        Like

    • 7
      The Liebore Party and all its affiliates says:

      Do as we say, not as we do.

      Like

  2. 2
    The Shit Stirrer General says:

    How on earth can the British Government advertise so many public sector jobs in a foreign newspaper? Aren’t there rules about placing government contracts outside the EU?

    Like

    • 4
      JH says:

      There’s this thing called the internet, with a site called http://www.gov.uk on which they could advertise public sector positions to all at essentially zero cost. Job centres could have a computer set up to display local positions automatically for those without access to a computer. Or a smartphone.

      But they don’t.

      Instead they pay a great deal to advertise in a paper appealing to a tiny spectrum of opinion, with the associated tiny circulation.

      Why is that, I wonder.

      Like

      • 13
        Mark Skid says:

        Because Cameron is a totally useless dipshit.

        Like

      • 17
        Anonymous says:

        I have posted a reply for you, yet despite containing no swear words and only being a word for word quotation from an original gov advert of which I have original copies, apparently it requires moderator review. Perhaps the truth is not welcome here. When the truth is moderated, sadly I feel it becomes more like Russian whispers.

        Like

        • 19
          Blowing Whistles says:

          Quite agree – I posted somethin up at 10:59pm – mod bot has a problem with public domain stuff.

          Like

      • 21
        Stop CP says:

        Perhaps they share a common purpose?

        Like

      • 23
        keeshond8 says:

        I don’t know if you’re correct about online readership where it is the world’s fifth most popular newspaper site and and second to the Mail online in the UK, which replaced it the as most often accessed (though not necessarily most read) in the UK last year. Thought that would make you feel happy.

        Like

    • 22
      Tim W says:

      Don’t forget, that’s the only place those jobs are advertised because that IS the journal of choice for people whose jobs are taxpayer-funded. Think BBC, NHS, Social Services, Education Industry — sorry, Educational Sector, Local Government etc etc.

      Like

  3. 5
    Berlusconi's y-fronts says:

    Fat prat investigates fat cat.

    Like

    • 10
      Huffy says:

      We had a similar problem at the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation, when one of our chickens went missing. We solved it by sending the local fox into the hen house to find out what happened. It cost several hundred thousands of pounds but in the end Lessons Were Learned and mechanisms have been put in place. Problem solved!

      Like

  4. 6
    Gay Fawkes says:

    Ken Dodd’s let himself go.

    Like

  5. 8
    David B says:

    Are Starbucks not suffering in tough trading conditions on the high street. Surely same rules apply

    Like

  6. 12
    kinnochio says:

    Why isn’t UK Uncut camped outside the Grauniad?

    Like

    • 16
      Blowing Whistles says:

      Ahh – the master of the family of troughers … has spoken … FO Pinnoccio you really have grown a very long protuding nose.

      Like

  7. 14
    Arry Coal says:

    If I was more sunburnt you would bet I loved fried chicken.

    Like

  8. 20
    Polly Toynbee says:

    Fuck you! We’ll do what we like! If I wasn’t at my villa in Tuscany, I’d punch all of you!

    Like

    • 25
      Ed Miliband says:

      Don’t be such a f’cking twat, Polly. People are starting to think you’re worse than Thatcher.

      Like

  9. 24
    The Rt Hon. The Hon. Comrade Loretto Fettes MP (Rottenborough East) says:

    They once printed an apology for being hopelessly deluded #####. Unfortunately the apology didn’t form part of one of their campaigns against themselves therefore they buried it at the back.

    Like


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