Weekend digest


A €500 million High Court battle has erupted following a move by the Revenue Commissioners to raise tax assessments against 400 high-net-worth individuals who used an elaborate scheme to reduce their tax liabilities, reports the Sunday Business Post.

A test case was taken on behalf of the investors last week, arguing that the Revenue investigation into the scheme was illegal.

The legal clash centres on the use of the “value shift tax scheme”, which the Revenue contended was not legitimate. If it wins its case in the High Court, the Revenue could recoup €500 million in taxes and penalties.

IRISH BANK Resolution Corporation (IBRC) wrote off more than €64 million in debt owed by a British fuels business before it was subject to a takeover by a consortium involving Denis O’Brien (above), reports the Sunday Times.

The State-owned bank wrote off the debt owed by Geneva Holdings, the former parent of Blue Ocean Associates. Blue Ocean supplies about 10 per cent of all road fuels used in Britain and runs a service station business.

Mr O’Brien took control of Blue Ocean through Osmunda, an Isle of Man joint venture with Trafigura, the global fuels trader, in July, the paper said.

THE TWO largest public pension funds in the US have voted to remove Rupert Murdoch (below) as chairman of News Corporation ahead of a showdown with investors this week, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, who control nearly $400 billion of assets, have backed a resolution calling for News Corp to split the roles of chairman and chief executive that Mr Murdoch has held since founding the company.

Although pressure is mounting on Mr Murdoch, it is unlikely that he will be dislodged.

STATE ASSETS agency Nama has taken control of 200 apartments in south Dublin. The agency has installed a receiver at Elmfield apartment development in Leopardstown in Dublin, reports the Sunday Times. The development was completed by housebuilder Dwyer Nolan in 2008.

Nama is owed about €25 million by Parkzone Developments, the Dwyer Nolan company behind the project. This is the first enforcement action taken by Nama against the company.