TeliaSonera board member avoids taxes

TeliaSonera board member avoids taxes
Spotify founder Martin Lorentzon, brought in to revitalize the profile of bribery-accused Swedish telecom giant TeliaSonera, has avoided millions in taxes to Sweden through a shell company in Cyprus.

Sveriges Radio (SR) reported that Lorentzon had avoided paying about 60 million kronor ($9.2 million) in taxes in Sweden through a company set up on Cyprus. He started the company Rosello in 2005 and according to local company registers, information on the firm is sparse.

Lorentzon recently acquired a chair on the board of the Swedish phone company TeliaSonera. He did not want to personally comment on the new information but his lawyer, Tommy Lundqvist, told SR that the company had been set up for business reasons.

After allegations regarding bribery in Uzbekistan, TeliaSonera’s new board decided to put more focus on corporate social responsibility.

While Lorentzon is not suspected of any crime, avoiding domestic taxes when he has been appointed to a board meant to scrub clean the image of the state-owned TeliaSonera is a sensitive issue in the eyes of many observers.

Kristina Ekengren on the nominations committee told SR that she was already informed of Lorentzon’s business, but did not think it was reason enough to exclude him from the board.

“The government thinks you should contribute to Swedish society by paying taxes here, and I share the same opinion,” she said.

“Martin is unique with what he’s accomplished as an entrepreneur, by building two successful companies based on new technology. He’s hard to exceed and I think we should be proud of him in Sweden.”

TT/The Local/sh

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