UBM to return to London after four-year stay in Dublin

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The Independent Online

The owner of PR Newswire is set to return to the British tax fold this week, after having moved its headquarters to Dublin in 2008 to escape what it called the UK's harsh fiscal regime.

UBM chief executive David Levin moved the group, which organises trade shows such as Ecobuild and publishes industry magazines including Property Week, to Dublin in protest at the prospect of double taxation on overseas profit.

But the introduction of changes to corporation tax in the New Year has convinced FTSE-listed groups that have redomiciled, or had at least considered doing so, to change their minds.

In August, Sir Martin Sorrell announced that his WPP advertising giant would also bring its tax base back to London from Dublin. The group also went to Ireland in 2008, as Sir Martin looked to slash WPP's tax bill by moving somewhere with a hugely favourable 12.5 per cent corporation tax.

A shareholder meeting to approve WPP's return takes place next month. UBM investors meet at the group's headquarters, the old Daily Express building, on the river Thames in central London's Blackfriars tomorrow. When, as seems certain, they agree to the deal, UBM's tax base will return to the UK at the end of the week.

Alongside the sale of its data services division, which UBM hopes will fetch more than £200m, and the appointment of Dame Helen Alexander as chairman, the return to London marks a year of frenetic activity. The media group has won admirers for running a tight ship when publishing rivals have badly struggled through the financial crisis.