The merger announced at the end of July between the French company Publicis and the American company Omnicom, after more than 6 months of negotiations, will result in the world’s N°1 advertising agency. The new, undisputed leader in publicity, formed from this merger valued on the stock market at 26 billion euros, will install its headquarters in the Netherlands by incorporating a holding company to benefit, in particular, from favorable tax regulations that appeal to the management of Publicis-Omnicom.
The Netherlands: a neutral and stable country, interesting for Onshore tax optimization
Increasingly more multi-national companies are settling in the Netherlands. After Renault-Nissan or EADS, for example, today it’s Publicis-Omnicom who wants to set up headquarters in Holland. The country, with a reputation for political stability, is also renowned for its neutrality. It is primarily this choice of a neutral place, favoring neither Publicis nor Omnicom by installing the headquarters respectively in France or the United States, that encouraged the new group to turn to the Netherlands.
The choice was also made for reasons of tax stability since Netherland’s tax laws have not changed for over 20 years, thus providing excellent visibility on the medium and long terms for the future giant of advertising now known as Publicis-Omnicom.
Fiscality in the average-low range for Europe
The Netherlands are indeed an interesting Onshore destination. They are part of the 20 richest countries in the world and they are the third most developed nation according to the United Nations. With corporate taxes at 20%, the Netherlands fall in the average-low fiscal category for Europe. Even if Cyprus and Luxembourg, with 15% corporate taxes, or Ireland with 12.5%, present even lower tax rates, the Netherlands have a wide network of tax treaties to endow them with preferential status as an Onshore destination to optimize taxation.
According to the Dutch central bank, these advantageous tax arrangements have already attracted 10,200 billion euros distributed in 14,300 holdings in 2010. Obviously, interest in onshore incorporation is still present today.