The US private equity house that stands to earn hundreds of millions of
pounds from the flotation of Qinetiq, the taxpayer-funded former MOD research
company, has registered its shareholding in an offshore tax haven.
According to reports in The Guardian, the investment vehicle used by
Carlyle to invest in Qinetiq is a UK-based limited partnership that contains a
number of special-purpose investment vehicles based in Guernsey. And these will
not be liable for tax when Qinetiq goes public.
Tax-efficient structures such as this are commonplace in the world of private
equity, but the news of Carlyle’s participation in them is likely to infuriate
political opponents of the government.
Sources close to Carlyle say that the company’s investment strategy,
including the offshore vehicles, was shown to the government and parliament
before it invested in Qinetiq.
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