The French government has named family-controlled tyremaker Michelin as one of three businesses it wants to investigate for alleged tax fraud. The investigations will focus on banks accounts and foundations that French newspapers are reporting are held in Liechtenstein by Michelin, oil giant Total and sportsbrand Adidas.
Although Michelin has not made any formal response on its website a spokesman has denied they have any such links with Liechtenstein. France's public prosecution service has reportedly been studying the allegations since last December, although it has not yet reached a decision on whether a prosecution will be brought.
The news came out on the eve of the G20 summit in London, when the issue of tax havens is to be discussed.
Michelin, the world's second largest tyremaker with revenues of over €16 billion, was founded in 1888 by brothers Edouard and André Michelin.
Edouard's great-grandson, also called Edouard, was the CEO from 1999 until 2006 when he drowned while fishing. Non-family member Michel Rollier has since led the company. Family member Pierre Michelin is today one of the supervisory board.
Death of tax havens is greatly exaggerated