Wolsely moves offshore


Wolseley, the world’s largest supplier of building and plumbing materials, has revealed plans to relocate to Switzerland due to England’s current tax regime.

In what will no doubt come as a big blow for the Coalition government, the 123 year old company issued a statement that detailed its intentions to create New Wolseley, a holding group that will UK listed but tax resident in Switzerland.

Part of the statement read: “The Board has concluded that the interests of its business and its shareholders are best served by establishing an international holding company corporate structure that will help provide more certainty in its taxation position. A new Group holding company, New Wolseley, will be incorporated in Jersey, with its tax residence in Switzerland. The Proposals are expected to enable the Group to achieve a competitive effective corporate tax rate.”

The Wolseley Company was founded in 1887 Australia by Frederick York Wolseley. The company was soon after moved to England where it made sheep shearing and agricultural equipment. In 1896 Wolseley began making cars and later on developed into the heating, building and plumbing manufacturers it is today.

Wolseley is not the first company to be scared away by the UK’s tax regime, last year the Informa Group made a similar breakaway and also moved its residency to Switzerland.