Our public face dutifully trundled along to the Planning & Licensing Committee last night to watch how councillors would vote on Y16/1003/SH. They did not disappoint and voted in favour of the recommendations by officers. What they didn’t know was that there were two other offshore companies involved. We hope the prospective new retailer will create the 39 new jobs they set out in their retail statement, (we do not know if the prospective new retailer will be an onshore or offshore company yet.).
There is though a certain irony to all of this. That being the land B&Q sits on is owned by : WHITE HORSE CAPITAL LIMITED (incorporated in The Isle of Man) of PO Box 166, 4th Floor, One Circular Road, Douglas, Isle Of Man, IM99 3NZ. The land cost £12.7 million on the 10/10/2007.
Also the lease B&Q had, was for 20 years and ran between 09/03/2007 – 03/04/2027 but less than 10 years into their lease they have decided to cut it short. The lease was between B&Q & RBSI Custody Bank Limited and RBSI Trust Company Limited. RBSI Trust Company Ltd is in the Panama Papers and is registered in the known financial offshore centre of Jersey
So all in all, there were three offshore companies involved. Tristan Capital & Ellandi (objectors) based in Luxembourg. The Landowners, based in the Isle of Man and one of the parties to B&Q lease – that being RBSI Trust Company Ltd based in Jersey.
Are there any businesses, companies or land left in Folkestone which are not owned by an offshore company? Of course there is, but they are a dying bred.
There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or entities included in this blog post have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.