Tax the big PE deals

The executive chairman of NVM Private Equity, Michael Denny, sets out his solution to the vexed question of how to tax private equity


The executive chairman of NVM Private Equity, Michael Denny, sets out his solution to the vexed question of how to tax private equity

The executive chairman of NVM Private Equity, Michael Denny, sets out his solution to the vexed question of how to tax private equity

For the small end of the private equity market, with less than £250 million under management, I think altering the existing tax structure would be hugely detrimental. Particularly away from London, trying to encourage people to take entrepreneurial risks is vital. We’re all hoping in the venture capital community that the Treasury will not want to tinker with entrepreneurial culture at the bottom end – and I don’t think they will.

At the bigger end, there’s an awful lot of huff and puff by private equity managers about their own tax position. My guess, after doing this for 30 years, is that when push comes to shove, managers will shut up and put up: they won’t go off to the Cayman Islands. There is a general feeling that the big private equity players (the restructurers as opposed to the developers and innovators) are over-generously rewarded through taxation. I think a doubling of the tax rate to 20 per cent would not have any effect on the future of the industry.

For the smaller deals, I wouldn’t mind if they tinker with the length of time after which taper relief becomes available; you can’t start a business and then sell it in two years. Personally, I would double that to four years, and double the rate of tax for restructuring and private-equity deals.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

Related Topics

Female founders