The case of the FCA guarantee breaks out The group: liquidity for Italian operations

A 6.3 billion euro loan at a subsidized rate with a partial guarantee from Sace (i.e. ultimately by the Ministry of the Treasury) to support the Italian FCA activities, with its 54 thousand employees and approximately 300 thousand in components and distribution and vehicle assistance. A loan similar to a supply chain contract – to be repaid within three years – with systemic relevance on the automotive sector, consistent with Intesa Sanpaolo’s mission in supporting the country’s economy. The transaction given the size still subject to evaluation and must in any case be resolved on the board of directors.

The FCA request comes through FCA Italy, taking advantage of the rule introduced by the government. An amount equal to 25% of 2019 turnover, the ceiling provided by Sace, which amounts to 25.2 billion, in turn a quarter of the group’s global revenues, equal to 108 billion. Fca Italy the subsidiary of the parent company Fca. The latter moved its registered office to Amsterdam to take advantage of the multiple voting legislation. The tax office also changed, with a transfer to London to save taxes on dividends to shareholders, including the shareholder Exor, the holding company headed by the Agnelli family.

In the past three years FCA Italy has closed the balance sheets in red (-1.1 billion in 2016, -673 million in 2017, -1.25 billion in 2018), thanks to the difficulties of the car market now overwhelmed by lockdown measures, with the almost zero registrations (-98% in April). A market that is already suffering, enough to push the Ministry of Development to start a table for the relaunch of the sector.

But the request for public guarantee turns up the nose to many for the decision to move the parent company to London. The Revenue Agency has initiated an investigation against FCA for failure to pay the Exit Tax, foreseen since 1995 for all companies that move their residence abroad. The procedure ended with a voluntary adhesion by FCA, which decided to pay in installments over 700 million, remedying the previous one and availing itself, among other things, of the debts / credits offsets under the latest red balance sheets.

On the political side, the operation feeds more than a controversy. Although the FCA request is made to finance the activities of the Italian plants, with the specification that the loan is intended for the payment of suppliers, for the investments contained in the industrial plan, to support personnel costs and more generally to keep the activities supply chain companies and their workers. The Deputy Minister of Economy, Antonio Misiani, argues that the Italian state must worry about FCA employees, just as it must worry about the sort of commercial activities and many economic activities that have gone into difficulty. The toughest position within the majority is assumed by Leu, through the mouth of the national spokesman, Nicola Fratoianni. I see that the FCCA of the Agnelli family asks that the state guarantee for a loan request of 6.3 billion euros. We should ask in return for the registered office and tax domicile in Italy, after having moved them to Holland and Great Britain, observes Fratoianni. After all, the issue of where and how taxes are paid remains an open side for the FCA group. So much so that Fratoianni says: So at least a little more tax comes in Italy. a matter of guarantees.

The wavelength of the deputy secretary of the Democratic Party is similar, Andrea Orlando. Without embarking on discussions about what a tax haven is, I think one thing can be said clearly: a company that asks the Italian state for substantial funding brings its headquarters back to Italy. I look forward to anti-Sovietization and learned sermons on the free market. On the union front, Francesca Re David (Fiom CGIL) says she believes it is necessary for the government to convene a table to protect the occupation.