Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher’s family is linked to tax havens and oil giants

Conflicts of interest, tax havens and calculations to avoid inheritance tax: the cocktail is explosive for Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher. An inquiry published by investigative website Disclose on Tuesday, November 8, revealed that the minister had links to a company whose investments were made in tax havens. According to the results of this journalistic investigation, the latter will have a close relationship with the Perenco oil company (6,000 employees worldwide).

It all starts with a family story. The minister’s father, Jean-Michel Runaher, the former historical manager of Perenco, decided in 2016 to avoid paying inheritance tax and set up a company to pass on his wealth to his grandchildren, who were then aged 13, 10 and 5. For a paltry sum of 10 euros, the children enter the capital, Agnes Pannier-Runacher points and Jean-Michel Runacher contributes the remaining 1.2 million euros. Arjunem company was established.

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This French company, according to Disclose, relies partly on funds settled in tax havens and is not listed in the minister’s declaration of interests. Questioned by Disclose, the minister said he was unaware of the investment strategy, referring to his father as to the origin of the funds, noting that he had no “Do not declare this structure”.

Hedge funds in tax havens

In his detailed reply, he explained that his children were bare owners and thus received no dividend today, that Jean-Michel Runaher remained in usufructuary, and that Arjunem was indeed “Subject to French tax”. But according to Disclose, that legacy comes from hedge funds based in Delaware, Ireland and Guernsey, in which Perenco also has investments. As confirmed by Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the financial products are deposited in a bank in Luxembourg.

The Minister does not mention Arjunem’s company in his statements to the High Authority for Transparency of Public Life (HATVP). The law obliges him to declare the direct participation of himself and his wife, but not of his children. “It’s not about my legacy, it’s about the legacy of my children, who still don’t have the authority to run the company.”Agnès Pannier-Runacher answers to explain. “The HATVP guide leaves no ambiguity that I should not declare this structure”he told AFP.

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Jean-Michel Runacher on the origin of funds “Fund units that have nothing to do with Perenco have contributed. These are investments he has acquired in the past as part of his personal investments.he said pointing to his father “for more information”.

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“Regardless of the legal form of these funds, the shareholder pays the tax of the country in which he is a resident”also told AFP that he saw no conflict of interest between his ministerial functions and the activities of his father, a former leader of Perenco. “I didn’t have to deal with files about Perenco”WHO “It carries out most of its activities outside France”, he assures.

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“Antikor” association denounces in the article “Disclosing the situation of conflict of interest”. “that’s for sure”. Same observation on HATVP side, details: “The absence of the obligation to declare does not exempt the public official from other indirect interests, for example, to ensure situations of conflict of interest that may arise in connection with the activities of children or other family members. »

“It is not this article that decides the fate of the minister”Loic Signor, spokesperson of the Renaissance presidential party, of which the minister is a member, said at the press briefing. “It depends on the government, the President of the Republic” to decide you explain within training.

Interested in MP Clémence Guette (LFI). “truth” to accelerate on renewable energy“a minister whose indirect financial interests are clearly linked to oil companies”. He is the judge of this case “Symptom of how Macron can sometimes have financial connections to question”. “Energy transition or minister of oil interests, you have to choose! »MP Danielle Simonnet (LFI) added on Twitter. “Tartuffe”MEP strongly criticized EELV Mounir Satouri.

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