Lord Harris makes a `load of Monet'
The 54-year-old entrepreneur said he was selling the shares for "estate" reasons so he could avoid the payment of inheritance tax. He said he planned to use the proceeds, which will amount to pounds 14.5m after the payment of tax and dealing costs, to buy paintings and other works of art which he could pass on to his four children. "He has made himself a lot of Monet," one dealer said.
Lord Harris, who has undertaken not to sell any more shares in the group for two years, said: "I've got a big art collection and I'd like to get some more paintings." He has around 400 paintings and is particularly keen on impressionist masters such as Pisarro and Sisley. He does not keep the paintings at home but loans them to art galleries around the world. "I'm not telling you what I'm hoping to buy - the price will go up," he said.
Under inheritance tax rules, no death duties are paid on works of art until they are sold. That way, Lord Harris said, money could be passed down "through generations". Lord Harris has three sons and a daughter.
Lord Harris also revealed that, as a result of the share sale, he would make a donation to the Conservative Party. However, he declined to say how much. "It won't be pounds 23m. It won't be pounds 15m. It won't be pounds 1m." Asked if that meant he would be giving less than pounds 1m, he replied: "I'm not saying what I will give the Conservatives." He also revealed that he was considering relinquishing his position as deputy chairman of the board of treasurers for the Conservative Party following the election to devote more time to Carpetright.
The share sale, which was 2.5 times oversubscribed, was taken well by the City. Carpetright shares closed 7p higher at 598p.
The sale was announced alongside Carpetright's bumper interim results which showed a 38 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to pounds 14m in the six months to 26 October. Group sales were 27 per cent higher at pounds 106m.
Investment column, page 22
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Plenty of Fish dating site founder pulls 'Intimate Encounters' option to ward off sleazy men
Oklahoma tornado latest: Obama pledges support for 'as long as it takes' to rebuild the suburb of Moore
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 Swedes set up 'ultimate Viking movie'
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
£850 - £1000 per day: Orgtel: Programme Change Manager - Banking - London - £8...
£180 - £230 per day: Orgtel: Operations Analyst - Leading Bank in the City of ...
£500 per day: Orgtel: A top tier banking client urgently requires Finance Busi...
£425 - £550 per day: Orgtel: Senior Finance Project Manager - £550 - Bristol -...