Nando’s chicken empire uses Maltese company to stash profits

Documents released by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists once again show how world’s richest hide money from tax regulators

According to The Guardian, millions in tax are avoided by channelling profits elsewhere around Europe and through to the Channel Islands
According to The Guardian, millions in tax are avoided by channelling profits elsewhere around Europe and through to the Channel Islands

Malta has featured yet again in a chain of companies designed to stash away a “secretive” €943 million (£750m) trust located in the Channel Islands, for the family behind the Nando’s chicken chain.

The British restaurant group – ultimately owned by Dick Enthoven, a South African tycoon – uses companies in Malta, Guernsey and the Netherlands, to legally reduce its UK corporation tax bill by up to a third.

According to The Guardian, which was furnished with documents from non-profit news organisation ICIJ, the Enthoven family would stand to avoid UK inheritance tax on all their fortune.

But the restaurant group points out that it paid £12.6m (€15m) UK corporation tax last year.

The Enthoven family’s personal cash, their £8m Wiltshire stately home, and their corporate structures, all have offshore addresses. After passing through Malta, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg, Panama and the British Virgin Islands, profits end up in Enthoven’s Taro III Trust. It is based in Jersey and has been operated by bankers Kleinwort Benson.

This trust, not liable for UK tax, contains no less than £750m and possibly much more.

Enthoven is a South African tycoon whose own Dutch father, Robert, amassed an insurance fortune.

The British entity that operates the 280 UK restaurants last year paid over £21m (€26m) of its revenues as a royalty for using the Nando’s brand name. The money goes to a low-tax Netherlands entity called Tortolli BV. Tortolli in turn collects the cash on behalf of another company registered in another tax haven, this time in Malta.

Richard Enthoven is the ultimate beneficial owner of Nando’s, but since he is not  resident in the US or the UK, tis means that he is not liable to pay any British personal tax.

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