Home Money Asda brothers may avoid £2.5m stamp duty levy

Asda brothers may avoid £2.5m stamp duty levy

by Elijah
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Romance: Victoria Price and Mohsin Issa at an awards ceremony in 2018

Romance: Victoria Price and Mohsin Issa at an awards ceremony in 2018

Asda’s co-owners could avoid paying millions of pounds in stamp duty if one sells their shares in the debt-ridden grocer to the other.

The supermarket chain was purchased from the American company Walmart by Mohsin and Zuber Issa and the acquisition group TDR Capital in 2021.

But future ownership of the company has been thrown into doubt amid reports that Zuber wants to offload his 22.5 percent stake.

It follows the Daily Mail’s revelation that Mohsin had left his wife of 30 years and is in a relationship with Victoria Price, a former EY tax partner, who was an Asda auditor.

His lawyers said Price disclosed his relationship with Mohsin Issa to EY “from the beginning” and that EY confirmed to him that he complied with all his obligations and made all appropriate disclosures to the firm’s ethics and compliance teams throughout his career.

Zuber, who along with his brother invested just £100m in cash when they bought Asda, is said to want at least £500m for his shares. Sources say the most likely buyer is TDR.

Any buyer would normally have to pay 0.5 per cent stamp duty on the purchase price, suggesting a tax bill of around £2.5m.

But in a letter responding to questions raised by Liam Byrne, chairman of MPs’ Business and Commerce Select Committee, Mohsin Issa confirmed that “there may be a saving on stamp duty” because three of its holding companies are incorporated in Jersey, where there is no such tax. exists.

Mohsin confirmed that “no companies in Asda’s ownership structure” were incorporated in jurisdictions outside England and Wales to try to avoid paying tax on their income “through any favorable tax situation”.

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