CHEMICAL manufacturer Ineos is preparing to shift its headquarters from Southampton to Switzerland in the face of rising UK taxes.
The firm, Britain’s largest privately owned company by revenue, has launched an internal review and is consulting with its lenders over the move. Ineos estimates it could save €450m (£408m) in tax charges over the next four years by leaving the UK.
It would be the most high profile in a line of corporate departures from this country including pharmaceutical manufacturer Shire, which went to Ireland in 2008.
In a statement sent to City A.M., Ineos said it remained committed to its 3,700 staff in the UK. The majority of its 170 Lyndhurst-based staff would remain if it goes ahead and relocates.
Chief executive Tom Crotty said: “We have to make a decision that is right for Ineos, our business and our sites, to ensure we remain competitive long-term in a global marketplace. Many leading chemical companies have European or global operations resident in Switzerland and we need to compete effectively with them.”
An international firm operating in 14 countries, Ineos generates 70 per cent of its turnover outside the UK.