OWNER OF SCOTS WHISKY FIRM NAMED IN PANAMA PAPERS

OWNER OF SCOTS WHISKY FIRM NAMED IN PANAMA PAPERS

Whisky firm Whyte and Mackay – which claims the pride and passion of its Glasgow founders are “in every glass” – is actually owned in a Caribbean tax haven by a billionaire named in the Panama Papers, it has emerged.

The company, founded by James Whyte and Charles Mackay, ultimately belongs to a holding firm registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Last year, Whyte and Mackay paid £172,000 in income tax on pre-tax profits of just over £24 million.

There is no suggestion of unlawful conduct by the company.

Former prime minister David Cameron and his chancellor George Osborne, as well as international charities such as Oxfam, have blasted offshore ownership.

Lisa Stewart of Oxfam Scotland described news of Whyte and Mackay’s status as a “scandal” that is “yet more evidence that our taxation system is broken”.

And she added: “The UK Government must put an end to the secrecy that enables the rich and powerful to get away without paying their fair share of taxes.

“With almost one in five people in Scotland living in poverty, these funds could have been utilised providing a vital safety net to the poorest in our society.”

Green MSP Andy Wightman said: “It is clear that secrecy jurisdictions are now a routine part of the ownership of land, property and corporate assets in Scotland.

“This situation poses serious questions about the accounting practices and tax liabilities and highlights the need for greater transparency in the ownership of land and capital.”

Public records posted at Companies House reveal the whisky firm’s offshore ownership.

In 2014, Vijay Mallya, an Indian tycoon, sold the company to Filipino businessman Andrew Tan for £430 million.

Mr Tan is a Chinese-born brandy, burger and building entrepreneur and was named in the Panama Papers – a data leak of documents from a law firm revealing financial and attorney-client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities.

Mr Tan was named due to his substantial offshore empire, which includes Emperador International Limited, registered at a PO Box in the British Virgin Islands’ capital Road Town.

This company, through several others, owns the 160-year-old Whyte and Mackay Limited, which produces Vladivar vodka and the Jura and Dalmore premium malts.

Tax experts have said there can be good reasons why businesses use tax havens to register ownership of companies.

This includes those wishing to avoid double or triple taxation – so they only pay a levy on profits once.

Hundreds of business leaders from the Philippines were named in the Panama Papers.

Much of the rest of Scotland’s whisky industry is also owned outside the country, either in England or abroad.

Chinese-born rags-to-riches tycoon Mr Tan was one of 572 Filipino business people named in the Panama Papers.

The entrepreneur, who is said by Forbes magazine to be worth more than $5bn, is chairman of a conglomerate called Alliance Global Group, which owns the Emperador distillery, maker of one of Asia’s most popular brandies, and now alcohol firms in Spain and Scotland.

    Tags:

    • After originally starting her journalism career at local paper the Leicester Mercury, Laura moved to Bristol to become a senior reporter at SWNS. She now runs the ‘Sell Us Your Story’ website, gathering different stories and undertaking general reporting and copywriting duties.

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    A cat charity has come up with an unusual new way for people to interact with the animals in its care - by installing a live webcam feed. Thanks to two new webcams, people will be able to go to the Cats Protection website and follow the antics of whichever cat is currently staying in one pen at the National Cat Adoption Centre. The pinhole cameras have been installed in the top and side of the pen at the charity's centre in Chelwood Gate, East Sussex. They will be on every day when staff on duty between 8.15 am and 4.45 pm so viewers can watch the mogs eat, play and sleep. Cats Protection's virtual homing manager Clare Kiernan said the charity hopes that by giving cat lovers an insight into the daily life of some of its cats, more people will choose to adopt through its branches or adoption centres. She said: "We're always looking for ways to tell people about the many wonderful cats we have in our care throughout the UK that need a new, loving home. "The webcams seemed like a brilliant idea to us, so people can see for themselves just how funny, charming and entertaining cats can be. "Whether you're taking a sneaky break from work to log on, or watching online with the kids, the live stream is endlessly entertaining. "From the high-energy mayhem created when the pen is occupied by a litter of kittens, to the calming and relaxing vibes from a resting older cat, we hope that by tuning in viewers will get a sense of what they're missing out on." Cats Protection is thought to be the first UK cat charity to install cameras in one of its centres. The idea is not completely new, though, as The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon and Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland also have similar cameras installed. Clare, who joined the charity last July, said the cameras will always be in the same pen but the cats people get to see will change as they find new homes. She also said the home plans to put in more cameras in the coming months. She said: "The cat on show will probably change every week or so as the cats go to their forever homes. "We hope to have some kittens in there soon - we did when we were trying this out and it was very entertaining. "We hope to scale it up and put cameras in other branches of the charity. "Some of them are quite remote so it would hopefully highlight the cats there more." All camera-ready cats are ready to go to a new home and first in the hot-seat is two-year-old Eric. He has been at the home for just under two weeks. Clare said: "We picked him to be first because he is a very affectionate cat. "His previous owners said he acts like a dog because of the way he follows people around. I don't think he will be here long."

    CAT CHARITY SETS UP WEBCAM TO VIEW RESCUE ANIMALS

    A cat charity has come up with an unusual new way for people to ...

    CHAS AND DAVE'S SPECIAL WEDDING TRIBUTE TO TERMINALLY ILL DRUMMER

    CHAS AND DAVE’S SPECIAL WEDDING TRIBUTE TO TERMINALLY ILL DRUMMER

    “Rockney” legends Chas and Dave played a special tribute to the bride and groom ...

    ny richardson kicked out of mcdonalds

    GIRL ASKED TO LEAVE MCDONALDS BECAUSE STAFF THOUGHT SHE WAS A BOY

    A 16 year-old lesbian claims she was asked to leave McDonalds for using the ...

    Login