WPP set for return to UK in January

Sir Martin Sorrell: group chief executive of WPP
Sir Martin Sorrell: group chief executive of WPP

WPP is planning to return its tax base to the UK from Ireland in January, if at least 75% of voting shareholders approve the move at a meeting on 11 December.

The move involves the creation of a new parent company for the WPP Group, called New WPP, which is intended to have a neutral effect on share ownership and executive share plans.

In its announcement, WPP also provided a brief update on trading, revealing that flash revenue numbers for October indicate like-for-like revenue growth "at a similar level to the third quarter [which was 1.9%] and better than September".

The company revealed in August that it was planning the shareholder meeting to approve the return, which WPP considered after the coalition Government reformed rules on the taxation of foreign profits that were introduced by the former Labour government.

WPP, which makes nearly 90% of its revenue outside the UK, moved its headquarters to Ireland in 2008 in response to Labour’s change.

Sir Martin Sorrell, the WPP chief executive, said at the time: "It was a significant economic decision. It is a difficult decision, but it was one the board felt it had to make in the interests of shareholders."

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