by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
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Member of British Parliament

Michael Mates

Offshore companies used for real estate development in the Caribbean

Related to  United Kingdom
Data from: Panama Papers
Michael Mates is a Conservative Party politician who served in Parliament from 1974 until May 2010, when he chose not to run for re-election. He was a minister at the Northern Ireland Office from 1992-1993 but resigned after his reputation suffered from his support for failed businessman Asil Nadir, who was accused of financial wrong-doing. During the investigation, Mates sent Nadir a watch inscribed, “Don’t let the buggers get you down.” Nadir was convicted in August 2012 of stealing nearly $46 million, generating headlines just as Mates was campaigning for police commissioner in Hampshire. Mates lost the election.

In the data

Mates' parliamentary financial disclosures listed him as chairman of Haylandale Limited from April 2005 to at least April 2010, when he stepped down from his parliamentary seat for the constituency of East Hampshire. The company, created in the Bahamas in 2003 and dissolved in 2013, was established to invest in property development in the Caribbean archipelago. Michael Mates became minority shareholder of Haylandale Limited in January 2005. Additionally, Haylandale owned four subsidiary firms from August 2007 to December 2008 that provided leasing and other services connected to luxury properties in the Bahamas.


Mates said the company was established to create a leisure development in Barbuda, an island that is part of the East Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda. He said a friend asked him to become chairman and that his advice had been sought on issues including how to deal with the government of Antigua, which owned the land. He said he had not and would not receive any remuneration "unless and until the development took place, nor were the shares of any value," as the company "never had any real value."
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