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Aegis creates Swiss holding company for tax-breaks

London based firm accused of tax-evasion as outpost is established in Basel.

London based private security firm Aegis Defence Services has created a holding vehicle in the northwestern Swiss city of Basel, reportedly for the purpose of avoiding taxes.

Aegis claimed that it was moving because its accountants were based in Switzerland.

It also said that the country had accounting transparency and a stable taxation system. A statement by the firm added that "no business activities will be conducted in or from Switzerland."

However, company insiders confirmed that tax reasons were the real motive behind the move.

As part of the relocation, founder and chief executive Tim Spicer will no longer be associated with Aegis.

Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung reported that Aegis' owners have exchanged their shares for stakes in the Basel shell company, which now owns Aegis.

At a time when the government is promising action against tax avoidance, Aegis' move is likely to raise questions, especially since Tory MP Nicholas Soames is one of its directors.