Ineos Opens new UK Headquarters
Olefins and polyolefins giant Ineos, headquartered in Switzerland for the past six years, has officially opened a second corporate base in the UK after quitting the country for tax reasons in 2010. The new British headquarters in London’s upscale Knightbridge section includes offices for senior management and the group’s shale gas exploration arm, along with trading and shipping and the business teams of vinyls subsidiary Inovyn.
Speaking at the dedication of the new premises. Ineos chairman and owner, Jim Ratcliffe, said the partial move “back to the roots” reflects increased confidence in the UK and the favorable climate for growth and business. “The future for Ineos is very bright, and much of this optimism comes from our UK-based operations,” he remarked.
Climate Change and Industry minister, Nick Hurd, said: “This government has been clear that Britain is open for business and it is welcome news that Ineos are locating their UK headquarters in London.” He called the decision “another vote of confidence in the British economy.” In recent years, Ineos has been spending heavily on growing its gas portfolio, which is centered on the UK and includes exploration for both shale and conventional gas. Current plans call for investments of around $2 billion on a range of projects there.
“We are also planning to extract shale gas in the north of England and to grow the newly revitalized Grangemouth,” Ratcliffe said, speaking of the mammoth chemical complex on the Firth of Forth. He did not mention fracking for shale gas in Scotland, where Ineos’ corporate hands are tied due to a government-imposed moratorium.
Returning to the UK roots was an “easy decision,” the chairman said, explaining that he is optimistic not just about the future of Ineos, but also the future of the post-Brexit UK. Ratcliffe stressed that Ineos is now tax resident in the UK and, he told the business journal IB Times, “at peace” with the level of corporation tax, which is due to fall to 19% from April, 2017.
The 2010 move to Rolle, Switzerland, near Geneva was designed to save around £100 million in tax. Speaking to IB Times, Ratcliffe said Ineos has demonstrated its faith in the post-Brexit British economy and is happy to pay “much more tax” than before.