In a PAC hearing on Wednesday about the BBC’s property estate and the issues raised in the recent National Audit Office report into how the corporation has managed it, Hodge asked director general, Tony Hall, trustee Nicholas Prettejohn and managing director of finance and operations, Anne Bulford, “what on earth” the BBC had done signing up to a property deal with something that she claimed was “clearly a tax avoidance scheme”.
Television Centre was sold to a consortium of developers and investors called Whitewood, including Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan UK and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, for about £200m in 2012.
Hodge said about 10 companies were involved and she was shocked that a public service institution such as the BBC had gone about the disposal of a publicly funded asset in such a way.
There’s two sides to every deal. Imagine that this really was tax avoidance (I have no idea if it was myself). Of that extra profit made by dodging tax some of it will flow through into the BBC’s coffers in the form of the tax dodgers offering a higher price for the asset. So, the reason is that the BBC got more money this way.