Guida all’ingegneria societaria: il caso Ikea

Un interessante articolo dell’Economist stamane sulla struttura del guppo Ikea, sul ruolo di controllo dellla famiglia Kamprad tramite una società no-profit (sic) olandese, sui metodi continuare a pagare meno tasse pur estraendo profitti.

IKEA – Flat-pack accounting – May 11th 2006

Alcuni brani dall’articolo:

The parent for all IKEA companies—the operator of 207 of the 235 worldwide IKEA stores—is Ingka Holding, a private Dutch-registered company. Ingka Holding, in turn, belongs entirely to Stichting Ingka Foundation. This is a Dutch-registered, tax-exempt, non-profit-making legal entity

If Stichting Ingka Foundation has net worth of at least $36 billion it would be the world’s wealthiest charity.

Dutch foundations are very loosely regulated and are subject to little or no third-party oversight. They are not, for instance, legally obliged to publish their accounts.
Under its articles, Stichting Ingka Foundation channels its funds to Stichting IKEA Foundation, another Dutch-registered foundation with identical aims, and which actually doles out money for worthy interior-design ideas. But the second foundation does not publish any information either.

The IKEA trademark and concept is owned by Inter IKEA Systems, another private Dutch company, but not part of the Ingka Holding group. Its parent company is Inter IKEA Holding, registered in Luxembourg. This, in turn, belongs to an identically named company in the Netherlands Antilles, run by a trust company in Curaçao.

in 2004 the Inter IKEA group collected €631m in franchise fees and made pre-tax profits of €225m. This profit is after deducting €590m of “other operating charges”.

Although IKEA would not explain these charges, because its policy is not to comment on the accounts of a private group of companies, Inter IKEA appears to make large payments to I.I. Holding, another Luxembourg-registered group

Together these companies had nearly €11.9 billion in cash and securities at the end of 2004, even after I.I. Holding paid out a dividend of nearly €800m during the year. Most of this money has undoubtedly come from the collection of franchise fees. In total, these two groups suffered tax bills of a mere €19m in 2004 on their combined profits of €553m.