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Wolseley to be questioned on Swiss tax move

Plumbers and builders merchant group Wolseley is likely to be questioned about its decision to relocate to Switzerland for tax purposes after last week’s Budget relaxed rule on taxation.

Wolseley releases its financial results for the six months ended 31 Jan 2011 tomorrow.

CEO Ian Meakins announced last September he was moving the company to Switzerland’s more favourable tax climate after failing to obtain a “clear enough view” on the Coalition’s tax policy. Up to 80% of Wolseley’s revenue comes from outside the UK.

However, since the Budget included included a relaxation of the controlled foreign companies (CFC) regime Meakins is likely to be asked if Wolseley might return to the UK.

Two other groups – WPP and UBM – have already indicated that they might return to a UK base for tax purposes following the Budget changes.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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