Ineos Chief Takes Flak for Monaco Move
Ineos Chairman Jim Ratcliffe appears to be growing increasingly unpopular in his native land. The 46-year-old businessman is now being sharply criticized for his announcement that he will move his legal residence to tax haven Monaco.
Reports said that two other senior executives, Andy Currie and John Reece, will likely also move to the principality. The managers have not explained the move, though wagging tongues have it that Ratcliffe owns a large property on the neighboring French Riviera.
The Ineos chief told British media that Ineos will remain headquartered in London "for the foreseeable future.” Since 2010, however, most of its businesses have been based at Rolle, Switzerland, near Geneva.
The decision to relocate to Switzerland came after a tax dispute with the then-Labour government and the refusal of British banks to guarantee loans in the heat of the financial crisis. In 2016, as the olefins and polyolefins giant was widening its engagement in shale gas, it built a new headquarters in the British capital to house some corporate functions, including shale and vinyls producer Inovyn.
Ratcliffe, who topped the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List with a fortune of £21.1 billion and also was recently knighted, has incurred the wrath of Britons in particular because he is leaving the country just as it leaves the EU. At the height of the Brexit debate he championed the move, saying the UK didn’t need Brussels to tell it what to do, after earlier remarking that Ineos could thrive either way.
The UK’s wealthiest individual has also ruffled UK feathers with the decision to have a German company develop his planned successor to the iconic British Land Rover Defender off-road vehicle.
The move plans would not seem to augur well for Ineos’ hopes of receiving British state aid to locate its planned vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant at Hull, England. The company has been widely expected to build the facility at Antwerp, but Ineos director Tom Crotty said recently that state aid might “tilt the scales.”