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