– No plans to use the exit tax

– No plans to use the exit tax
– No plans to use the exit tax

(E24) The married couple Hans Jacob and Randi Sundby own Norway’s largest private kindergarten group. Now they are moving to Switzerland, but deny that they are doing it to escape the tax.

Kindergarten billionaires Hans Jacob and Randi Sundby are moving to Switzerland. Photo: Anders Wiklund / TT
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Hans Jacob Sundby says to E24 that he and his family are leaving the country because they are going to expand the nursery business to other countries.

– This is not a tax transfer. We have lived abroad six or seven times before. Most of our business is outside Norway, all our growth is outside Norway. We will move on to other countries and other continents. And we will pay the tax we have to wherever we are at any given time, he says on the phone from Lucerne in Switzerland.

– We believe that the Nordic view of children and the Nordic kindergarten pedagogy are very good. And it has grown to the point where we are in ten countries and on three different continents. We are bigger abroad than in Norway. All our strategic plans take place outside Norway, explains Sundby.

It was Fagbladet that first mentioned the move.

Willing to open a kindergarten in India

The Sundby couple each own half of the shares in Læringsverkstedet, through the holding company Hjr Holding AS.

They started Læringsverkstedet in 2003. Since then they have grown strongly.

The company has an equity capital of NOK 2.45 billion, according to Fagbladet. Many of the kindergarten buildings are financed by publicly subsidized housing bank loans, and they have received public subsidies to cover interest costs and wear and tear on buildings.

The Norwegian tax system allows the married couple to sell parts of the company in five years’ time, thereby withdrawing the value of the company without taxing the assets to Norway.

Sundby rejects that they will do this.

There are now 240 learning workshop kindergartens in Norway. Photo: Kristian Jacobsen / Stavanger Aftenblad

– We have been extremely clear about that from day one. You can browse all interviews with us and see it. We have five children, and if they want, they should be allowed to take over. We are a Norwegian family company and will deliver to the next generation, he says.

Sundby says that he and his wife are planning further international expansion for Læringsverkstedet.

– At the moment, the Nordic region is where we have major operations. We are planning a start-up in India and further expansion in South Africa. The first country on the relay leg was Switzerland because it is practical, he says.

– Are you going to open a kindergarten in Switzerland?

– No, for now we are in Germany and Poland. As are the nearest countries, only an hour away.

– Why did you end up in Switzerland then?

– We landed in Switzerland because we travel a lot internationally, and it’s easy to do from Switzerland, and that Switzerland is well organized for foreign citizens, says Sundby.

Would move anyway

There has been a lot of focus on tax evaders recently.

Among the riches who have moved recently are Magnus Reitan, Martin Andresen and Kjell Inge Røkke.

Sundby does not want to be put in the same box as these.

– We have no plans to make use of the exit tax, he says.

– Do you understand that someone can deceive you when you, who receive a public grant, move out of the country?

– I fully understand that people ask. All the subsidies we get in Norway stay in the kindergartens. We do not take Norwegian grants out of Norway with us, says Sundby.

– If there had been a Conservative government, we would have moved out.


Published: November 1, 2022 3:42 p.m

Updated: November 1, 2022 4:15 p.m

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: plans exit tax

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