March 4, 2015 / 4:21 PM / 4 years ago

Total eyes closing nine units located in tax havens by 2017

General view of the Total oil refinary in Leuna, November 19, 2014. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

PARIS (Reuters) - French oil major Total disclosed a list of all its 903 subsidiaries worldwide in a transparency move on Wednesday after recurring criticism about the group’s presence in tax havens.

Total, vying with Sanofi for the crown of France’s biggest listed company, said it was working on withdrawing nine of the 19 entities in countries deemed to be tax havens by the end of 2016.

The group did not specify which ones, but among the subsidiaries listed were Pars LNG Limited, incorporated in Bermuda and operating in Iran, Sunpower Philippines Manufacturing Ltd, incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and Total E&P Angola Block 31 Limited, incorporated in the Bahamas.

“We felt it would be useful to give everyone access to a full list of our entities (...) to ensure that there were no misunderstandings due to partial disclosure,” Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.

However, the group said it was not possible to close all the entities for operational or legal reasons, notably in cases where Total was not the main shareholder.

The disclosure came on the day French President Francois Hollande said in a newspaper interview he was shocked by the fact Total did not pay corporate tax in France, where it does not make a profit because of loss-making refining activities.

“Total, which is France’s biggest company, should therefore be France’s biggest taxpayer,” he told Le Parisien daily.

The Paris-based group reported an adjusted net profit of $12.8 billion for the year 2014.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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