Bono used Malta-based firm to invest in Lithuanian shopping centre

U2 frontman was investor in firm based in island nation where foreign investors pay 5% tax on profits, Paradise Papers show

His band have never been there, and neither, it seems, has he. But as an investment opportunity, Bono found what he was looking for in Lithuania.

The U2 frontman used a company based in Malta to pay for a share in a shopping centre in a small town in the north-east of the country, the Paradise Papers reveal.

The singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, was an investor in the Maltese company Nude Estates, which bought the Aura mall named after the Lithuanian word for dawn for 5.8m (5.1m) shortly after it opened in 2007.

Nude Estates incorporated a Lithuanian company of the same name to hold the property in Utena, 60 miles (97km) north of the capital, Vilnius.


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What are the Paradise Papers?

The Paradise Papers is a special investigation by the Guardian and 95 media partners worldwide into a leak of 13.4m files from two offshore service providers and 19 tax havens’ company registries. The files reveal the offshore financial affairs of some of the worlds biggest multinational companies and richest individuals, and set out the myriad ways in which tax can be avoided using artificial structures


In 2012, the shopping centre business was transferred to a company in Guernsey called Nude Estates 1.

Malta is a low-tax jurisdiction. For foreign investors, the tax paid on any profits earned by companies is reduced to 5%. In Guernsey, no tax is paid on company profits, although any money brought back into the UK or Ireland would be subject to tax.

Bonos spokeswoman told the Guardian: Bono was a passive, minority investor in Nude Estates Malta Ltd, a company that was legally registered in Malta until it was voluntarily wound up in 2015. Malta is a well-established holding company jurisdiction within the EU.

She added that he was also a passive, minority investor in the Guernsey company linked to the shopping complex.

Bono has made no apologies for his tax affairs after previous revelations.

In 2015, he said <a href=”” data-link-name=”in” body link” class=”u-underline”>U2 paid a fortune in tax. An earlier decision by the band to run some of their business through the Netherlands was, he said, just some smart people we have working for us trying to be sensible about the way were taxed. And thats just one of our companies, by the way. Theres loads of companies.

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