• Saturday, June 25, 2022

Business

Arora brothers, Boparan family among UK’s 50 biggest taxpayers

B&M CEO Simon Arora with his brothers Bobby and Robin

By: Pramod Thomas

LEADING Asian businessmen – brothers Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora – as well as Ranjit Boparan and his wife Baljinder are among the UK’s 50 biggest taxpayers, according to The Sunday Times.

The Arora brothers are the biggest shareholders of budget retailer B&M, and according to The Sunday Times, their tax liability was £77.6 million, with the family wealth estimated to be £2,224m in 2021. They were 13th on the list and their tax liability was 37m in 2020.

Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan of Boparan Holdings were ranked 20 on the list. The couple paid £57.4m in tax and their wealth was estimated to be £593m last year. They paid £37m in taxes the year ago. The family ranked 21 last year.

In a recent development, Goldman Sachs said it was acting as sole bookrunner for a placing of 40m shares of B&M with institutional investors on behalf of SSA Investments, a Luxembourg-based investment vehicle owned by the Arora family.

According to the Financial Times, the shares were sold on January 18 at 585p per share, netting brothers Simon (chief executive), Bobby (group trading director) and Robin Arora a combined £234m. The size of their remaining stake in the business has been cut to 7 per cent, from 11 per cent, but they have pledged not to sell any more shares for another 180 days.

Arora bought B&M – then a small, loss-making chain of stores – in 2005 with his brother Bobby.

Together the Aroras turned the budget retailer into a discount giant, with hundreds of stores across the UK and Germany and surging ahead of its rivals on the FTSE 100 last year as it continued to operate under its ‘essential’ status.

The brothers grew up in Manchester after their father came to the UK from India in the late 1960s – reportedly with just £10 in his pocket.

Ranjit Singh Boparan
Ranjit Singh Boparan

Boparan Holdings was founded in 1993 and has more than 25 years’ experience in the food industry. Notable acquisitions of the firm include Northern Foods and Brookes Avana in 2011.

Ranjit and wife Baljinder Boparan are the sole shareholders of Boparan Holdings, the holding company for 2 Sisters Food Group.

Last year, Boparan Holdings agreed to sell part of its Fox’s Biscuits business to CTH, a Belgian holding company related to Ferrero Group, for £246 million.

Following the deal, CTH will acquire Fox’s biscuit manufacturing sites at Batley and Kirkham, where Fox’s brand biscuits are produced, from Northern Food Grocery Group Limited (NFGG), a subsidiary of Boparan Holdings.

Previously, the Boparan Restaurant Group rescued restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK).

Denise Coates, the gambling entrepreneur, and her family have again topped The Sunday Times Tax List this year, contributing more than £480m to the public finances in 12 months.

The founder of Bet365 heads the rankings that identify 11 individuals and families who paid more than £100m in taxes in a year – a record number and four more than were found in 2021.

The £481.7 million tax liability attributable to Denise, John and Peter Coates for 2020/21 includes Bet365’s corporation tax, employer’s national insurance and gambling duties as well as the personal tax Denise Coates incurs on her pay and dividends from the company. In 2020, she received a £421.2m salary.

This surge in the number of £100m-plus taxpayers has resulted in a £510m rise in the overall tax liabilities of Britain’s 50 biggest contributors, up to £3.69 billion this year from £3.18 billion last year, according to The Sunday Times.

The next on the list is Chris Rokos with a total wealth of £1,250m and tax liability of £300m, followed by Stephen Rubin who paid £256.1m in total tax.

Lord Sugar, the gravel-voiced frontman of The Apprentice, makes his Tax List debut this year. Most of the peer’s estimated £163.4m tax bill stems from charges on a £390m dividend he paid himself last year.

The other top ten taxpayers are-The Weston family (£175.4m), Fred and Peter Done (£169.8m), Lord Sugar (£163.4m), Peter Harris and family (£141.4m), Sir Chris Hohn (£126.1m), Leonie Schroder and family (£121.2m) and Alex Gerko (£117.4m).

Eastern Eye

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