Links and brief updates on changes to the regulatory landscape for private equity, including: new guidelines on valuation, international taxes, and fund liabilities..
A journalists like me and lawyers have written ad nauseum, new and ever more regulations are in the pipeline for private equity and alternatives as a whole. Here we will hit on some of the cases of note and provide links to new guidance over the past month.
Bribery is Still Bad:
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have released updated guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Basically, bribery is still a bad idea, but now there's a fact sheet for easy cross referencing, if someone offers you a bribe
National Gas Fuel Company Withdraws its Own Suit:
National Fuel Gas Company, has withdrawn its own lawsuit after a shareholder proposal submitted by the Harvard Shareholder Rights Project, on behalf of a public pension benefit trust, sought declassification of the company's board of directors. The company withdrew citing procedural issues surrounding the proposal.
Court Sides With Private Equity on ERISA Liability:
The Federal District Court of Massachusetts sided with Sun Capital Partners over withdrawl liability in the case involving the New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund. "Specifically, the court found that the PBGC had incorrectly applied the law of agency by attributing activities of a private equity fund's general partner (which had provided certain management and advisory services to the fund's portfolio companies for a fee) to the fund itself,” explain attorneys with Hunton & Williams.
New Tax Rules in Luxembourg Focus Specifically on Private Equity:
The Luxembourg Parliament has approved the bill 6497 modifying the Luxembourg Income Tax Act. The changes will impact private equity firms, including increases to the alternative minimum tax for Luxcos. The alternative minimum tax rules will apply now even if the income is exempt under international law. Detailed guidance is offered here by attorneys with Bonn Steichen & Partners.
German AIFMD Tax Regime Implementation Hits Private Equity:
From a tax law perspective, UCITS funds and a limited range of tax privileged AIFs will be granted the favorable existing fund tax law regime. However, the draft legislation would bring about - prohibitive - product regulation, first via regulatory law and second via tax law, for a large number of AIF like many hedge funds and private equity funds. According to the latest InfoLetter from WTS Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH, in Germany, private equity funds operating there are likely facing new scrutiny and higher tax bills.
SEC Settles First-of-its-Kind Asset Valuation Case
The SEC has opted to settle with KCAP Financial, Inc., f/k/a/ Kohlberg Capital Corporation, over misstatements of exit prices and fair value. The number of these such cases are on the rise, two others closed this month.
This article was published in Opalesque's Private Equity Strategies our monthly research update on the global private equity landscape including all sectors and market caps.