October 29, 2021

James Dyson’s tech firm moves $2.4 billion to his family office

By ellen

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Mr James Dyson’s technology firm has transferred £1.3 billion (S$2.4 billion) to his family office since last year, accelerating the shift of his fortune away from his biggest asset.

Dyson Holdings paid Weybourne Holdings a dividend of £400 million for last year, the biggest annual cash payout for the British billionaire’s family office, according to registry filings.

During the period, Weybourne also received £200 million from the closely held maker of bagless vacuum cleaners and an additional £700 million in January through share capital transfers.

“The family is, in effect, diversifying its interests,” said Sheffield University Management School professor of accounting practice Richard Murphy. 

Mr Dyson, 74, whose technology company has operations in Asia, Europe and the United States, is the Britain’s richest person with a net worth of about US$26 billion (S$35 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Most of his fortune comes from his stake in his namesake firm.

His family office also received dividends and capital transfers totaling £300 million in 2018 and £465 million the following year, when Dyson Holdings said it would relocate its headquarter from Britain to Singapore to focus more on South-east Asia.

As Dyson Holdings shifted the money to Weybourne last year, it increased its borrowings by about £300 million.

A spokesman for Dyson declined to comment.

Weybourne, set up eight years ago, had assets of £4.5 billion as at May 2019, filings show. The firm, which no longer reports financials and has activities in real estate, farming and public markets, has expanded its staff to more than two dozen employees across Britain and Singapore.

Mr James Bucknall, a retired British army officer, is chief executive officer, while former fund manager Bjorn Thelander is chief investment officer. Mr James Pritchard joined last year from Union Bancaire Privee as chief financial officer.

Mr Dyson founded his technology business three decades ago and has extensive British holdings, with his agricultural firm previously disclosing it oversaw 257.8ha of woodland and about 150 homes. He also owns a country estate in England and switched his residency from Singapore back to Britain earlier this year.

Dyson Holdings’ profit increased 12 per cent to £797 million last year, with revenue up 5.7 per cent to £5.7 billion, according to filings.

The family office distributions are unlikely to trigger tax charges in Singapore, which does not typically impose levies on dividends or returns of shareholder capital.