SFC CRITICISES ENGIE’S AGGRESSIVE TAX PLANNING

On 18 May 2018, Meeschaert Asset Management, on behalf of SfC, attended the AGM of the French electric utility Engie (formerly GDF Suez).

SfC sent a number of questions on Engie’s alleged aggressive tax planning before the meeting. «We have asked which measures have been put in place to respond to current charges of aggressive tax optimisation or even tax evasion», declared Aurélie Baudhuin, SRI Research Director and Deputy CEO of Meeschaert Asset Management. «We also asked when the company intend to publish a country-by-country reporting, as part of the Oecd’s BEPS (Base erosion and profit shifting) project».

The company answered that it does not intend to publish any country-by-country reporting before this practice is generally adopted by all companies at global level. «We will continue to engage Engie on taxation issues», continued Aurèlie Baudhuin. «The company is, however, very interesting as far as its governance and climate strategy are concerned.

It is the only one among the first 40 French companies which is managed by a female CEO, the board is diversified and its transition towards a low-carbon business model is real».