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Mike Ashley official statement confirms settlement after £605m Belgian Tax demand

5 months ago
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Mike Ashley has released an official statement at 7am on Friday morning.

The statement was released via his Frasers Group PLC (formerly Sports Direct International Group).

Mike Ashley owns around two thirds of the Frasers Group shares and in the statement, revealed that he/they have finally resolved the 674, euros (£605million) dispute with the Belgian tax authorities.

Frasers Group (Mike Ashley) say that they have ‘taken the commercial decision to settle these matters now given the uncertainty is affecting Frasers Group’s banking lines and its suppliers’ credit insurance…’

In July 2019, the company’s financial results were delayed after the retail group was hit by the tax claim shortly before its annual figures were due to be announced.

Not exactly transparent how this matter has been successfully settled with the Belgian tax authorities…

Mike Ashley also including in the statement though: ‘Frasers Group would also note that it has currently not been accepted as eligible for the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).’

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) is what the government introduced to help support businesses affected by the virus situation.

The Belgian Tax demand situation clearly wasn’t helping Mike Ashley and his retail empire’s position, so forced into agreeing to a settlement.

Frasers Group PLC (formerly Sports Direct International Group) Official Statement:

‘SETTLEMENT OF BELGIAN TAX MATTERS/COVID-19

Further to its announcement of 30 January 2020, Frasers Group has now successfully resolved all remaining matters referred to in the “proces verbal” together with a number of other historic tax matters by reaching a commercial settlement with the Belgium Tax Authority.

No material sums of tax or penalties are due to be paid in Belgium by Frasers Group as a result of the settlement.

Frasers Group has taken the commercial decision to settle these matters now given the uncertainty is affecting Frasers Group’s banking lines and its suppliers’ credit insurance where, due to store closures as a result of the current Covid-19 crisis, Frasers Group understands the majority of new credit insurance cover has been withdrawn for the time being.

Frasers Group would also note that it has currently not been accepted as eligible for the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).

For the avoidance of doubt, the €674m of disputed VAT including penalties within the “proces verbal” has been fully and finally settled for an immaterial amount.’

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