5 An investor, regardless of the nature of its involvement with an entity (the investee), shall determine whether it is a parent by assessing whether it controls the investee.
6 An investor controls an investee when it is exposed, or has rights, to variable returns from its involvement with the investee and has the ability to affect those returns through its power over the investee.
7 Thus, an investor controls an investee if and only if the investor has all the following:
- power over the investee (see paragraphs 10–14);
- exposure, or rights, to variable returns from its involvement with the investee (see paragraphs 15 and 16); and
- the ability to use its power over the investee to affect the amount of the investor’s returns (see paragraphs 17 and 18).
8 An investor shall consider all facts and circumstances when assessing whether it controls an investee. The investor shall reassess whether it controls an investee if facts and circumstances indicate that there are changes to one or more of the three elements of control listed in paragraph 7 (see paragraphs B80–B85).
9 Two or more investors collectively control an investee when they must act together to direct the relevant activities. In such cases, because no investor can direct the activities without the co-operation of the others, no investor individually controls the investee. Each investor would account for its interest in the investee in accordance with the relevant IFRSs, such as IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements, IAS 28 Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures or IFRS 9 Financial Instruments.
10 An investor has power over an investee when the investor has existing rights that give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities, ie the activities that significantly affect the investee’s returns.
11 Power arises from rights. Sometimes assessing power is straightforward, such as when power over an investee is obtained directly and solely from the voting rights granted by equity instruments such as shares, and can be assessed by considering the voting rights from those shareholdings. In other cases, the assessment will be more complex and require more than one factor to be considered, for example when power results from one or more contractual arrangements.
12 An investor with the current ability to direct the relevant activities has power even if its rights to direct have yet to be exercised. Evidence that the investor has been directing relevant activities can help determine whether the investor has power, but such evidence is not, in itself, conclusive in determining whether the investor has power over an investee.
13 If two or more investors each have existing rights that give them the unilateral ability to direct different relevant activities, the investor that has the current ability to direct the activities that most significantly affect the returns of the investee has power over the investee.
14 An investor can have power over an investee even if other entities have existing rights that give them the current ability to participate in the direction of the relevant activities, for example when another entity has significant influence. However, an investor that holds only protective rights does not have power over an investee (see paragraphs B26–B28), and consequently does not control the investee.
15 An investor is exposed, or has rights, to variable returns from its involvement with the investee when the investor’s returns from its involvement have the potential to vary as a result of the investee’s performance. The investor’s returns can be only positive, only negative or both positive and negative.
16 Although only one investor can control an investee, more than one party can share in the returns of an investee. For example, holders of non-controlling interests can share in the profits or distributions of an investee.
Link between power and returns
17 An investor controls an investee if the investor not only has power over the investee and exposure or rights to variable returns from its involvement with the investee, but also has the ability to use its power to affect the investor’s returns from its involvement with the investee.
18 Thus, an investor with decision-making rights shall determine whether it is a principal or an agent. An investor that is an agent in accordance with paragraphs B58–B72 does not control an investee when it exercises decision-making rights delegated to it.