WPP chief warns on tax moves

More UK-based companies are considering moving the headquarters overseas amid
concerns over the UK tax regime, the chief executive of advertising giant WPP
has warned.

Martin Sorrell told the Financial Times: ‘WPP is not the first to create a
new holding company [abroad] and it won’t be the last. There are people actively
considering it.’

WPP, the world’s second largest advertising agency, last week became the
sixth – and highest profile company – to announce plans to shift its tax
domicile from the UK this year.

Shire, Britain’s third-biggest drugmaker, and United Business Media, the
magazine publisher and conference organiser, have also announced plans to move
their tax domicile from Britain to Ireland to reduce their corporate tax bill.

Sorrell welcomed the appointments of Peter Mandelson as business secretary
and Paul Myners as the new City minister in Gordon Brown’s reshuffle, saying
there were encouraging signs that the pair ‘understood the implications of these
[tax] changes for business’.

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