Fiat Industrial to move its fiscal residence to the UK; the Philippines’ Gokongwei family set to launch an $800 million IPO; Bernard Matthews could be set to sell a stake in the family turkey-farming business.
Fiat Industrial – founded and still controlled by the Agnelli family via their holding company Exor – made headlines recently over its plans to adjust its operations to become a UK tax resident.
It was claimed that the move by the truck and tractor maker would cost cash-strapped Italy €500 million in lost tax revenues.
Fiat Industrial denied the claim and said in a statement published 22 May that the figure was an aggregate of the taxes payable by all of the brands in its stable – at least 46% of which would have been payable in North America, with only 5% attributable to its Italian activities.
It added: "In Italy and elsewhere, group companies maintain a legal presence in the various countries where they operate and will continue to pay taxes in those jurisdictions as before."
The UK has cut its corporation tax significantly in recent years, from 28% in 2010 to 24% today, and it is due to drop to 20% in 2015. The corporation tax rate in Italy is 31.4%.
Fiat Industrial plans to make the adjustment following the completion of its merger with Netherlands-based HGV manufacturer CNH Global in the third quarter of 2013.
Robinsons Retail Group
In the Philippines, the Gokongwei family’s retail company, Robinsons Retail Group, has appointed banks to manage an $800 million (€619 million) IPO – reportedly scheduled for the third quarter and poised to be the country’s largest IPO so far this year.
The company operates department stores, supermarkets and fashion retailers, with brands including Ben Sherman and Topshop.
Deutsche Bank, UBS and J.P. Morgan have reportedly been appointed to manage the deal.
The Gokongwei family’s flagship company, JG Summit, owns businesses across the petrochemical, aviation, banking, food manufacturing and telecommunication industries.
UK turkey farmers Bernard Matthews is reportedly set to sell a stake in the family business as it explores strategies to “accelerate the company’s existing growth strategy and infrastructure developments”.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Norfolk-based company said it was working with PwC to evaluate all options. “Bernard Matthews has weathered the difficult retail environment in a sound position and has the full support of its shareholders and financial advisers,” she said.
Last year the company made profits of just £2 million from sales of £341 million (€399 million). The company attributed its results to rising feed prices and weak consumer spending – a trend it expected to continue throughout 2013.
Following founder Bernard Matthews’ death in 2010, stakes in the business were left to a biological son from outside his marriage, his widow and a family trust.