The Tax-man cometh: Wind Telecom accused of 2009 tax avoidance

24 Jul 2013

Italy’s tax authority is seeking around EUR57 million (USD75.2 million) from Wind Telecom, the holding company which controls mobile operator Wind Telecomunicazioni (Wind Italy). According to documents obtained by Bloomberg, the company stands accused of allegedly avoiding paying taxes on certain 2009 transactions, after using a combination of put and call options to exploit a legal loophole.

Wind Telecom, formerly known as Weather Investments, was previously owned by Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who acquired the business from Italian utility ENEL in a EUR12.2 billion deal in 2006. Sawiris went on to sell the company to Amsterdam-based Vimpelcom Group in 2011, alongside a number of his other telecoms assets.