Tentative Agenda Decision and comment letters—Contributing property, plant and equipment to an associate

 

The IFRS Interpretations Committee tentatively decided not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda at its meeting in September 2017. The Committee will reconsider the following tentative agenda decision, including the reasons for not adding the matter to the standard-setting agenda, at a future meeting. The Committee encourages interested parties to submit their responses using the link below.

Tentative agenda decision

The Committee received a request about how an entity accounts for a transaction in which it contributes property, plant and equipment (PPE) to a newly-formed associate in exchange for shares in the associate. 

In the fact pattern described in the request:

  1. three entities, collectively referred to as investors, set up a new entity. The investors are all controlled by the same government—ie they are under common control.
  2. the investors each contribute items of PPE to the new entity in exchange for shares in that entity. The PPE contributed by the investors is not a business (as defined in IFRS 3 Business Combinations).
  3. each investor has significant influence over the new entity. Accordingly, the new entity is an associate of each of the investors. The investors do not have control or joint control of the entity.
  4. the transaction is carried out on terms equivalent to those that would prevail in an orderly transaction between market participants.

The request asked:

  1. about the application of IFRS Standards to transactions involving entities under common control (common control transactions)—ie whether IFRS Standards provide a general exception or exemption from applying the requirements in a particular Standard to common control transactions (Question A);
  2. whether an investor recognises any gain or loss on contributing PPE to the associate to the extent of other investors’ interests in the associate (Question B); and
  3. how an investor determines the gain or loss on contributing PPE to the associate and the cost of its investment in the associate. In particular, the request asked whether the cost of each investor’s investment in the associate is based on the fair value of the PPE contributed or the fair value of the acquired interest in the associate (Question C).

In analysing the request, the Committee assumed the contribution of PPE to the associate has commercial substance as described in paragraph 25 of IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment.

Question A

Paragraph 7 of IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors requires an entity to apply an IFRS Standard to a transaction when that Standard applies specifically to the transaction. The 

Committee observed, therefore, that unless a Standard specifically excludes common control transactions from its scope, an entity applies the applicable requirements in the Standard to common control transactions.

Question B

Paragraph 28 of IAS 28 requires an entity to recognise gains and losses resulting from upstream and downstream transactions with an associate only to the extent of unrelated investors’ interests in the associate.  Paragraph 28 includes as an example of a downstream transaction the contribution of assets from an entity to its associate.

The Committee observed that the term ‘unrelated investors’ in paragraph 28 of IAS 28 refers to investors other than the entity (including its consolidated subsidiaries)—ie the word ‘unrelated’ does not mean the opposite of ‘related’ as it is used in the definition of a related party in IAS 24 Related Party Disclosures. This is consistent with the premise that financial statements are prepared from the perspective of the reporting entity, which in the fact pattern described in the request is each of the investors. 

Accordingly, the Committee concluded that an entity recognises any gain or loss on contributing PPE to an associate to the extent of other investors’ interests in the associate.

Question C

This question has an effect only if the fair value of the PPE contributed differs from the fair value of the equity interest in the associate received in exchange for that PPE. The Committee observed that in the fact pattern described in the request, it would generally expect the fair value of PPE contributed to be the same as the fair value of the equity interest in the associate that an entity receives in exchange. If there is initially any indication that the fair value of the PPE contributed might differ from the fair value of the acquired equity interest, the investor first assesses the reasons for this difference and reviews the procedures and assumptions it has used to determine fair value.   

The Committee observed that applying the requirements in IFRS Standards, an entity recognises a gain or loss on contributing PPE, and a carrying amount for the investment in the associate, that reflects the determination of those amounts based on the fair value of the PPE contributed—unless the transaction provides objective evidence that the entity’s interest in the associate might be impaired. If this is the case, the investor also considers the impairment requirements in IAS 36 Impairment of Assets.

If, having reviewed the procedures and assumptions used to determine fair value, the fair value of the PPE is more than the fair value of the acquired interest in the associate, this would provide objective evidence that the entity’s interest in the associate might be impaired.    

For all three questions, the Committee concluded that the principles and requirements in IFRS Standards provide an adequate basis for an entity to account for the contribution of PPE to an associate in the fact pattern described in the request. Consequently, the Committee [decided] not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda.

Deadline for submitting comment letters: 20 November 2017

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