Acquisitions and mergers as per IFRS 3

Acquisitions and mergers

Acquisitions and mergers are becoming more and more common as entities aim to achieve their growth objectives. IFRS 3 ‘Business Combinations’ contains the requirements for these transactions, which are challenging in practice.

This narrative sets out how an entity should determine if the transaction is a business combination, and whether it is within the scope of IFRS 3.

Identifying a business combination

IFRS 3 refers to a ‘business combination’ rather than more commonly used phrases such as takeover, acquisition or Acquisitions and mergersmerger because the objective is to encompass all the transactions in which an acquirer obtains control over an acquiree no matter how the transaction is structured. A business combination is defined as a transaction or other event in which an acquirer (an investor entity) obtains control of one or more businesses.

An entity’s purchase of a controlling interest in another unrelated operating entity will usually be a business combination (see case below).

Case – Straightforward business combination

Entity T is a clothing manufacturer and has traded for a number of years. Entity T is deemed to be a business.

On 1 January 2020, Entity A pays CU 2,000 to acquire 100% of the ordinary voting shares of Entity T. No other type of shares has been issued by Entity T. On the same day, the three main executive directors of Entity A take on the same roles in Entity T.

Consider this…..

Entity A obtains control on 1 January 2020 by acquiring 100% of the voting rights. As Entity T is a business, this is a business combination in accordance with IFRS 3.

However, a business combination may be structured, and an entity may obtain control of that structure, in a variety of ways.

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Equity – 2 understand it all at best

Equity

There are, at least, two ways to discuss equity:

  • Equity is the residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all its liabilities, or
  • An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of an entity after deducting all of its liabilities.

But also:

1. Equity the residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all its liabilities

1. Statement of Financial Position

Assets

Equity and liabilities

1. Non-current assets

2. Current assets

Help

Help

A – TOTAL ASSETS [1 + 2] = B

3. Non-current liabilities (including Provisions)

4. Current liabilities (including Provisions)

5. Equity [1 + 2 -/- 3 -/- 4]

Help

B – TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES [3 + 4 + 5] = A

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11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

Several IFRS standards provide guidance regarding the scope and application of the fair value option for assets and liabilities. Here they are from 1 to 11…….

1 Investments in associates and joint ventures

Investments held by venture capital organizations and the like are exempt from IAS 28’s requirements only when they are measured at fair value through profit or loss (FVPL) in accordance with IFRS 9. Changes in the fair value (FV) of such investments are recognized in profit or loss in the period of change.

The IASB acknowledged that FV information is often readily available in venture capital organizations and entities in similar industries, even for start-up and non-listed entities, as the methods and basis for fair value measurement are well established. The IASB also confirmed that the reference to well-established practice is to emphasize that the exemption applies generally to those investments for which fair value is readily available.

2 Intangible assets

Subsequent to initial recognition of intangible assets, an entity may adopt either the cost model or the revaluation model as its accounting policy. The policy should be applied to the whole of a class of intangible assets and not merely to individual assets within a class11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13, unless there is no active market for an individual asset.

The revaluation model may only be adopted if the intangible assets are traded in an active market; hence it is not frequently used. Further, the revaluation model may not be applied to intangible assets that have not previously been recognized as assets. For example, over the years an entity might have accumulated for nominal consideration a number of licenses of a kind that are traded on an active market. 11 Best fair value measurements under IFRS 13

The entity may not have recognized an intangible asset as the licenses were individually immaterial when acquired. If market prices for such licenses significantly increased, the value of the licenses held by the entity would substantially increase. In this case, the entity would be prohibited by IAS 38 from applying the revaluation model to the licenses, because they were not previously recognized as an asset.

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Accounting Policies to First IFRS FS

Accounting Policies to First IFRS FS – An entity must use the same accounting policies in its opening IFRS statement of financial position and throughout all periods presented in its first IFRS financial statements. Those accounting policies must comply with each IFRSs effective at the end of its first IFRS reporting period, unless there is a mandatory exception to retrospective application or an optional exemption from the requirements of IFRSs.

[IFRS 1, paras 7 – 9]Accounting Policies to First IFRS FS

Note that:

  • An entity may apply a new IFRS that is not yet mandatory if that IFRSs permits early application.
  • The transitional provisions in IFRSs do not apply to a first-time adopter’s transition to IFRSs.

Mandatory Exceptions to Retrospective Application and Optional Exemptions from Read more

M and A

M and A or Mergers and Acquisitions

in IFRS language Business Combinations.

1 Identifying a business combination

IFRS 3 refers to a ‘business combination’ rather than more commonly used phrases such as takeover, acquisition or merger because the objective is to encompass all the transactions in which an acquirer obtains control over an acquiree no matter how the transaction is structured. A business combination is defined as a transaction or other event in which an acquirer (an investor entity) obtains control of one or more businesses.

An entity’s purchase of a controlling interest in another unrelated operating entity will usually be a business combination (see Simple case – Straightforward business combination below). However, a business combination (M and A) may be structured, and an entity may obtain control of that structure, in a variety of ways.

Examples of business combinations structurings

Examples of ways an entity may obtain control

A business becomes the subsidiary of an acquirer

The entity transfers cash, cash equivalents or other assets(including net assets that constitute a business)

Net assets of one or more businesses are legally merged with an acquirer

The entity incurs liabilities

One combining entity transfers its net assets, or its owners transfer their equity interests, to another combining entity or its owners

The entity issues shares

The entity transfers more than one type of consideration, or

Two or more entities transfer their net assets, or the owners of those entities transfer their equity interests to a newly created entity, which in exchange issues shares, or

The entity does not transfer consideration and obtains control for example by contract alone Some examples of this:

  • ‘dual listed companies’ or ‘stapled entity structures’
  • acquiree repurchases a sufficient number of its own shares for an existing shareholder to obtain control
  • a condition in the shareholder agreement that prevents the majority shareholder exercising control of the entity has expired, or
  • a call option over a controlling interest that becomes exercisable.

A group of former owners of one of the combining entities obtains control of the combined entity, i.e. former owners, as a group, retain control of the entity they previously owned.

Therefore, identifying a business combination transaction requires the determination of whether:

  • what is acquired constitutes a ‘business’ as defined in IFRS3, and
  • control has been obtained.

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IAS 24 Related parties by definition

IAS 24 Related parties by definition starts with two classes of related parties:Third party services

  • person(s)
  • entity(ies)

in relation to the central entity in this standards the REPORTING ENTITY.

The reporting entity in IAS 24 is referred to (so it strictly is spoken not an IFRS Definition) as the entity that is preparing its financial statements (consolidated and/or unconsolidated).

PERSONS

For persons it includes close members of that person’s family – where family is sometimes broader than a domestic (legal) definition of a married couple, as follows:

Starting point is a person and its relation with the reporting entity, the (related party) person has one of the following relations with a reporting entity:

  1. the (related party) person has control, joint control or
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Disclosures Principles of consolidation and equity accounting for IAS 1

Disclosures Principles of consolidation and equity accounting

This is a separated part of the example accounting policies, it is separated because of the size of this note and the specific nature of principles of consolidation and equity accounting.

Example accounting policies – Introduction

Get the requirements for properly disclosing the accounting policies to provide the users of your financial statements with useful financial data, in the common language prescribed in the world’s most widely used standards for financial reporting, the IFRS Standards. First there is a section providing guidance on what the requirements are, followed by a comprehensive example, easy to tailor to the specific needs of your company.

Example accounting policies guidance

Whether to disclose an accounting policy

1. In deciding whether a particular accounting policy should be disclosed, management considers whether disclosure would assist users in understanding how transactions, other events and conditions are reflected in the reported financial performance and financial position. Disclosure of particular accounting policies is especially useful to users where those policies are selected from alternatives allowed in IFRS. [IAS 1.119]

2. Some IFRSs specifically require disclosure of particular accounting policies, including choices made by management between different policies they allow. For example, IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment requires disclosure of the measurement bases used for classes of property, plant and equipment and IFRS 3 Business Combinations requires disclosure of the measurement basis used for non-controlling interest acquired during the period.

3. In this guidance, policies are disclosed that are specific to the entity and relevant for an understanding of individual line items in the financial statements, together with the notes for those line items. Other, more general policies are disclosed in the note 25 in the example below. Where permitted by local requirements, entities could consider moving these non-entity-specific policies into an Appendix.

Change in accounting policy – new and revised accounting standards

4. Where an entity has changed any of its accounting policies, either as a result of a new or revised accounting standard or voluntarily, it must explain the change in its notes. Additional disclosures are required where a policy is changed retrospectively, see note 26 for further information. [IAS 8.28]

5. New or revised accounting standards and interpretations only need to be disclosed if they resulted in a change in accounting policy which had an impact in the current year or could impact on future periods. There is no need to disclose pronouncements that did not have any impact on the entity’s accounting policies and amounts recognised in the financial statements. [IAS 8.28]

6. For the purpose of this edition, it is assumed that RePort Co. PLC did not have to make any changes to its accounting policies, as it is not affected by the interest rate benchmark reforms, and the other amendments summarised in Appendix D are only clarifications that did not require any changes. However, this assumption will not necessarily apply to all entities. Where there has been a change in policy, this will need to be explained, see note 26 for further information.

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Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting

Better Communication in Financial Reporting is an IFRS.org initiative to focus financial reporting on users. There is a general view that financial reports have become too complex and difficult to read and that financial reporting tends to focus more on compliance than communication. See also narrative reporting as a discussion on alternative ways of reporting.

At the same time, users’ tolerance for sifting through information to find what they need continues to decline.

This has implications for the reputation of companies who fail to keep pace. A global study confirmed this trend, with the majority of analysts stating that the quality of reporting directly influenced their opinion of the quality of management.

To demonstrate what companies could do to make their financial report more relevant, there are several suggestions to ‘streamline’ the financial statements to reflect some of the best practices that have been emerging globally over the past few years. In particular:

  • Information is organized to clearly tell the story of financial performance and make critical information more prominent and easier to find.
  • Additional information is included where it is important for an understanding of the performance of the company. For example, we have included a summary of significant transactions and events as the first note to the financial statements even though this is not a required disclosure.

Improving disclosure effectiveness

Terms such as ’disclosure overload’ and ‘cutting the clutter’, and more precisely ‘disclosure effectiveness’, describe a problem in financial reporting that has become a priority issue for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB or Board), local standard setters, and regulatory bodies. The growth and complexity of financial statement disclosure is also drawing significant attention from financial statement preparers, and more importantly, the users of financial statements.

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Disclosure Related party transactions – Best complete read IAS 24

– Learn how to do it –

Disclosure Related party transactions provides a summary of IFRS reporting requirements regarding IAS 24 Related party transactions and a possible disclosure schedule. However, as this publication is a reference tool, no disclosures have been removed based on materiality. Instead, illustrative disclosures for as many common scenarios as possible have been included. Please note that the amounts disclosed in this publication are purely for illustrative purposes and may not be consistent throughout the example disclosure related party transactions.

Presentation

All of the related party information required by IAS 24 that is relevant to the Reporting entity Plc has been presented, or referred to, in one note. This is considered to be a convenient and desirable method of presentation, but there is no requirement to present the information in this manner. Compliance with the standard could also be achieved by disclosing the information in relevant notes throughout the financial statements.

Materiality

The disclosures required by IAS 24 apply to the financial statements when the information is material. According to IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements, Disclosure Related party transactionsmateriality depends on the size and nature of an item. It may be necessary to treat an item or a group of items as material because of their nature, even if they would not be judged material on the basis of the amounts involved. This may apply when transactions occur between an entity and parties who have a fiduciary responsibility in relation to that entity, such as those transactions between the entity and its key management personnel. [IAS1.7]

Key management personnel compensation

While the disclosures under paragraph 17 of IAS 24 are subject to materiality, this must be determined based on both quantitative and qualitative factors. In general, it will not be appropriate to omit the aggregate compensation disclosures based on materiality. Whether it will be possible to satisfy the disclosure by reference to another document, such as a remuneration report, will depend on local regulation. IAS 24 itself does not specifically permit such cross-referencing.

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IFRS 7 Financial instruments Disclosures High level summary

Scope IFRS 7 Financial instruments Disclosures High level summary

IFRS 7 applies to all recognised and unrecognised financial instruments (including contracts to buy or sell non-financial assets) except:

  • Interests in subsidiaries, associates or joint ventures, where IAS 27/28 or IFRS 10/11 permit accounting in accordance with IAS 39/IFRS 9
  • Assets and liabilities resulting from IAS 19
  • Insurance contracts in accordance with IFRS 4 (excluding embedded derivatives in these contracts if IAS 39/IFRS 9 require separate accounting)
  • Financial instruments, contracts and obligations under IFRS 2, except contracts within the scope of IAS 39/IFRS 9
  • Puttable instruments (IAS 32.16A-D).

Disclosure requirements: Significance of financial instruments in terms of the financial position and performance

Statement of financial position

Statement of

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