BFM Business excluded: Arthur goes into exile in Belgium

Arthur, the famous host of TF1, hitherto tax resident of France, now officially resides in Belgium. His fortune is estimated at 200 million euros.

Arthur leaves. The famous TF1 host has decided to leave France and go into exile. He chose Belgium and now lives officially in Uccle, an upscale suburb south of Brussels, where many French tax exiles have already settled: Claude François Jr, members of the Taittinger or Mulliez families…

This new official address was given by Arthur himself to the Luxembourg authorities a few weeks ago. It replaces the address in Paris he provided earlier.

An exile motivated not by gastronomy, climate or landscapes, but most likely by fiscal reasons.

A jackpot of 305 million euros

Because the host – whose real name is Jacques Essebag – has a large fortune: the 229th in France according to Challenges, which brings it to 200 million euros. This fortune comes from the sale of his 50% stake in ASP (now Endemol France), which brought him a total of 305 million euros in two phases (80 million euros in 2001, then 225 million euros in 2007).

“Fiscally, the Belgian interest rate is limited in terms of income tax, but there is no tax on capital, nor on the capital gains of securities,” explains Hervé Israel, assistant lawyer at Holman Fenwick Willan.

When Arthur promised to remain a French tax resident…

This personal exile in Belgium is the second phase of a relocation process that started a year ago. Arthur began by moving his group’s holding company, Arthur World Participation Group (AWPG), from France to Luxembourg. Arthur remains the manager of this Luxembourg holding company and as such is required to provide an official address to the Luxembourg authorities. “The address stated by an administrator in the articles of association is the principal residence of the administrator. In principle, it corresponds to the administrator’s tax residence,” explains tax lawyer Hervé Israel.

Problem: Arthur swore to his great gods a year ago that this move only concerned his holding, but not his person at all. The host had even assured in a press release: “Arthur is a French taxpayer, pays his taxes in France and will continue to do so in the future”. His spokeswoman Françoise Doux added that there is no need to call it “a fiscal exile”.

Aurélie Filippetti gets angry

If Arthur had to calm things down, it’s because… the revelation his holding company’s move to Luxembourg had already caused some commotion, especially for Aurélie Filippetti: “Arthur explains that it is not for tax reasons. So he will have to explain why, because I know Luxembourg well, and it probably is not for the climate he goes there in. Some people have less civic sense than others. I don’t want us to give preferential treatment to people who don’t care, the vast majority of French people who don’t live in the same conditions as them in their daily lives ”, says the Minister of Culture about Canal Plus.

The minister had promised to be “vigilant” of the orders France Télévisions would pass on to Arthur. The host then replied that he had not worked for the public service since 1994…

Arthur’s lawyer Axelle Schmitz, and his right-hand man Emmanuel Rials (President of Hey FM) never responded. Her spokesperson Françoise Doux, for her part, referred to the press release from a year ago, but did not respond to Arthur’s current tax residence. The city of Uccle and the Belgian Ministry of Finance declined to comment.

Update 12:50 pm: Requested by 20 minutesArthur’s press secretary replied: “It’s about privacy, I don’t intervene in that area”. She adds that Arthur will not be allowed to speak on this topic for the next few weeks as he is currently filming abroad.

Update at 3.30 pm: the magazine M Belgium published an article late Wednesday indicating that Arthur had also set up a holding company in Belgium intended to hold his French operating companies.

Update at 17:50: the mayor of Uccle has confirmed the installation of Arthur in his municipality

Update at 9 pm: initially we quoted Paul Belmondo in the article as a tax exile in Uccle based on an article by Current values† But his press officer denies that he is a tenant or owner in Uccle. For its part, current values states that Paul Belmondo owns accommodation in Uccle.

Arthur’s statement to the Luxembourg authorities published by BFMBusiness

Abolition of French mandates

Arthur has just relinquished his directorships in 11 French companies belonging to him: Satisfaction the television agency (that Everything is allowed on Friday), AW Radio (who owns) Hey FM), Arthur World Participation Group (AWPG), A World Finance, AW Art, AW Etoile, AW Marceau, AWI, Luzarches la Rigalle, Serenity Films Company and Serenity Fiction. Each time he is replaced by his old right-hand man, Judith Aboulkheir.
The tax lawyer Hervé Israel deciphers: “The abandonment of his directorships in France reduces the activity in France and recognizes the tax authorities that the tax residence is no longer in France”.

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