Exor pays $845 million to settle dispute with Italian tax authorities

(Reuters) – Exor has paid 746 million euros ($845 million) to settle a dispute over the transfer of its headquarters to the Netherlands in 2016, the holding company of the Italian Agnelli family said on Friday.

Exor said the amount, which includes interest for 104 million euros, was paid in full on Friday. The effect of the settlement will be reflected in the company’s 2021 accounts, he added.

Exor’s control company, Giovanni Agnelli BV, will also pay the tax authorities 203 million euros, including 28 million euros in interest, on the same dispute.

Italian company Exor Spa applied the Participation Exemption (PEX) regulations when it merged with its Dutch subsidiary Exor Holding NV to create what is now Exor in 2016.

Under this regime, 95% of any capital gain relating to the value of its holdings was exempt and therefore excluded from the taxable income of the holding company for the determination of the exit tax, the company said in a press release.

However, with a subsequent decision, the tax administration argued that the PEX should not apply to cases in which a holding company transfers its tax domicile abroad without maintaining a permanent establishment in Italy, as in the case of Exor.

“Exor points out that with respect to the PEX claim, the Italian tax authorities have not imposed any penalty,” he said.

“The settlement agreement should not be construed as an acknowledgment, or even a partial acceptance by Exor, of subsequent interpretations put forward by the Italian tax authorities,” he added.

Giovanni Agnelli BV said in a separate statement that he acted correctly and did not break any rules.

“Given that the matter is a complex interpretative one and for the sole purpose of avoiding the time and costs of major tax litigation, the company has decided to enter into the agreement today,” said declared Giovanni Agnelli BV.

($1 = 0.8830 euros)

(Reporting by Giulio PiovaccariEditing by Keith Weir)

Esther L. Steinbach