UBM flies back to UK after near unanimous vote

PUBLISHING company UBM will move its tax base back to Britain by the end of the week after shareholders overwhelmingly voted for the return from Ireland yesterday.

The transition was emphatically approved at a special meeting, with 99.997 per cent of votes cast in favour of the move.

The former owner of the Daily Express newspaper, which now runs a successful events division as well as owning over 100 business-to-business print titles such as Property Week, moved its tax base to Dublin in 2008 due to what it calle a “less complex” tax system. It will now make a speedy move back to the UK.

“It is anticipated that UBM will become tax resident in the UK effective 30 November 2012,” the company said after the move was approved yesterday afternoon.

UBM had decided on the move after George Osborne made changes to corporate taxes in a bid to turn Britain into a more competitive place to do business.

The chancellor is slashing tax on foreign earnings, and cutting corporation tax from 26 per cent to 22 per cent by 2014. This compares to Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate.

Martin Sorrell’s advertising giant WPP is set to follow UBM when its shareholders vote on a return to the UK next month, and the likes of pharmaceuticals firm Shire are also believed to be considering a move.

UBM’s lawyers are now set to finalise the move. Although the company only generated around one-eighth of last year’s £972m in revenues, it was founded in the UK and has a long history in Britain.

As well as the events and print business, the company owns the PR Newswire service as well as a business information arm. It employs around 6,500 staff worldwide.