Bono is ‘distressed’ bosses at a business he invested in may have avoided paying taxes.
The U2 frontman has been linked to bosses at a Maltese company, called Nude Estates, who brought him in as an investor when they were planning the Ausra shopping centre in Utena, Lithuania.
In 2012, company executives reportedly transferred the shopping centre business to a company named Nude Estates 1 in Guernsey, where foreign investors were able to avoid paying taxes on profits.
Lithuanian authorities have now launched an investigation into the company’s tax practices, and Bono welcomes the move.
“(I would be) extremely distressed if even as a passive minority investor… anything less than exemplary was done with my name anywhere near it,” a statement from the rocker reads. “I’ve been assured by those running the company that it is fully tax-compliant, but if that is not the case, I want to know as much as the tax office does, and so I also welcome the audit they have said they will undertake.”
Bono is also dismayed by the leaked report about his links to Nude Estates, because he has stressed the importance of transparency in business in the past.
“I take this stuff very seriously,” the statement continues. “I have campaigned for the beneficial ownership of offshore companies to be made transparent. Indeed, this is why my name is on documents rather than in a trust.
“The fact is, I welcome this reporting. It shouldn’t take leaks to understand what’s going on where. There should be public registries so that the press and public can see what governments, like Guernsey, already know.”
Nude Estates owner Bryan Meehan explains Bono’s “involvement has been 100 per cent passive”, adding, “He has not visited any of the locations, nor has he had any involvement in the decision making.”