Sir Alex’s £340k shares in off­shore prop­erty com­pany

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Gor­don Black­stock GBLACKSTOCK@SUN­DAY­POST.COM

Sir Alex Fer­gu­son is a share­holder in a multi-mil­lion pound prop­erty com­pany based off­shore, we can re­veal.

The for­mer Manch­ester United boss is one of nine Scot­tish share­hold­ers in an Isle of Man firm.

All the share­hold­ers in Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc – who also in­clude a prom­i­nent SNP donor and sev­eral landown­ers – live in the UK.

Sir Alex is listed as a share­holder on Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc’s an­nual re­turns, with shares worth £ 340,000. On Fri­day, his brother Martin told us Sir Alex did not be­lieve in off­shore com­pa­nies and had no knowl­edge he was in­volved in them.

When it was put to him his brother’s de­tails were listed as a share­holder in pa­per­work reg­is­tered in the Isle of Man, he did not re­turn our call.

Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc is not be­lieved to be named in the Par­adise Pa­pers and there is no sug­ges­tion it does any­thing il­le­gal.

Last week Scot­tish Labour’s Richard Leonard de­manded an in­quiry into tax avoid­ance in the wake of the pub­li­ca­tion of the Par­adise Pa­pers.

But, we can re­veal, a Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc off­shore sub­sidiary, Heather Ltd, owns Scot­tish Labour’s Bath Street Glas­gow HQ, which it rents to the party. They paid £800,000 for the of­fices in 2011.

Busi­ness­man Sandy Adam and his fam­ily’s Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc shares amount to nearly £2.7 mil­lion.

In 2015, it emerged Mr Adam had given the Yes cam­paign £100,000 over three years while at the same time his com­pany re­ceived £1 min a Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment loan. Other share­hold­ers in Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc in­clude landown­ers based in the north east and other in­vestors. Christina Smith owns 1,000 shares and yes­ter­day said: “I’m aware this firm is based in the Isle of Man and I have shares.

“I got them a long time ago. I don’t con­sider the Isle of Man to be off­shore.”

As well as Heather Ltd, Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc’s sub­sidiary com­pa­nies based in the Isle of Man in­clude Carnoustie Lim­ited, Por­to­bello Apart­ments Lim­ited and Flower of Scot­land Lim­ited.

Lat­est ac­counts show it made £715,000 in rent­ing out prop­er­ties in the UK in the last year and paid tax on that in­come at the UK rate, see­ing £97,000 go the tax­man.

It’s as­sets have gone up from £12.5m in 2014 to £14.6m in 2016. The ac­counts also show its shares are now worth £172.50 per share – up from £161.69 the year be­fore.

Spring­field Prop­erty UK Plc de­clined to com­ment when asked if it’s Isle of Man op­er­a­tion was used to min­imise its tax bills on prop­erty deals.

The firm had pre­vi­ously said all UK ac­tiv­i­ties were taxed at the ap­pro­pri­ate rates.

The firm shares a sim­i­lar name to El­gin-based hous­ing gi­ant Spring­field Prop­er­ties PLC as well as the same boss.

Both firms list Mr Adam as a di­rec­tor but the Isle of Man-based Spring­field Prop­erty Fund Plc is a dif­fer­ent en­tity from the Scots hous­ing gi­ant.

Scot­tish Labour’s of­fice in Bath Street, Glas­gow, is owned by Heather Ltd, a sub­sidiary of Spring­field Prop­erty Fund___

Sir Alex Fer­gu­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.