French investment firm PAI abused Dutch tax law in its 2011 acquisition of lingerie chain Hunkemöller. A hoax by the French allowed the company to avoid millions in taxes. The Supreme Court ruled that this was not permitted. The Supreme Court thus confirms the judgment of the Court of Appeal in this case.
As a result of this final ruling, other investors now know that this tax ploy is against the law.
27 million euros
PAI loaned more than 60 million euros to the lingerie chain when it acquired Hunkemöller. Because of the high interest on this loan, the company has come to incur losses on paper. As a result, she did not have to pay dividend tax in the Netherlands. Furthermore, PAI did not have to pay tax in France on interest income.
The court earlier ruled that the loan had no purpose whatsoever except for tax evasion. The Supreme Court agrees. During the first three fiscal years after the acquisition, Hunkemöller deducted €27 million in interest from earnings.
PAI still has to pay the tax due.
According to the FD business newspaper, PAI is not the only private equity–The investor who created this building. Other buyback funds often package the businesses that buy them with loans to avoid taxes.