3. Principles of consolidation
- 1 1. Basis of preparation
- 2 2. Basis of measurement and presentation
- 3 3. Principles of consolidation
- 4 4. Foreign currencies
- 5 5. Government grants
3.1. Consolidation scope
The consolidated financial statements incorporate the financial statements of the Company, and:
- entities controlled by the Company (including through its subsidiaries) and that hence qualify as subsidiaries (see 3.1.2. below),
- arrangements over which the Company (including through its subsidiaries) exercises joint control, and that qualify as joint operations (see 3.1.3. below),
- arrangements over which the Company (including through its subsidiaries) exercises joint control, and that qualify as joint ventures (see 3.1.4. below), and
- entities over which the Company (including through its subsidiaries) has significant influence and that hence qualify as associates (see 3.1.4. below).
Where necessary, adjustments are made to the financial statements of the investees so as to align their accounting policies with those of the Group.
In accordance with the principle of materiality, certain companies which are not of significant size have not been included in the consolidation scope. Companies are deemed not to be significant when, during two consecutive years, they do not exceed any of the three following thresholds in terms of their contribution to the Group’s accounts:
- sales of €30 million,
- total assets of €15 million,
- headcount of 150 persons.
Companies that do not meet these criteria are, nevertheless, consolidated where the Group believes that they have a potential for rapid development, or where they hold shares in other companies that are consolidated based on the above criteria.
In the aggregate, the non-consolidated companies have an immaterial impact on the consolidated financial statements of the Group.
The full list of companies is filed with the National Bank of Belgium as an attachment to the Annual Report, and can be obtained from the Company head office.
3.1.2. Investments in subsidiaries
A subsidiary is an entity over which the Group has control. Control is achieved when the Group has (a) power over an investee, (b) exposure, or rights, to variable returns from its involvement with the investee, and (c) the ability to use its power over the investee to affect the amount of the investor’s returns. To assess whether the Group has control, potential voting rights are taken into account. Subsidiaries are fully consolidated. The results of subsidiaries acquired or disposed of during the year are included in the consolidated income statement from the effective date of acquisition and up to the effective date of disposal.
Intra-group transactions, balances, income, and expenses are eliminated on consolidation.
Non-controlling interests in subsidiaries are presented separately from the Group’s equity. Non-controlling interests are initially measured, either at fair value (full goodwill method), or at the non-controlling interests’ proportionate share in the recognized amounts of the acquiree’s identifiable net assets (proportionate goodwill method). The choice of measurement is made on an acquisition-by-acquisition basis. Subsequent to the acquisition, the carrying amount of non-controlling interests is the amount of those interests at initial recognition plus the non-controlling interests’ share of subsequent changes in equity. Total comprehensive income is attributed to non-controlling interests even if this results in the non-controlling interests having a deficit balance.
Changes in the Group’s equity interest in a subsidiary that do not result in a loss of control are accounted for as equity transactions. The carrying amounts of the Group’s interests and the non-controlling interests are adjusted to reflect the changes in their relative interests in the subsidiary. Any difference between the amount by which the non-controlling interests are adjusted and the fair value of the consideration paid or received is recognized directly in equity.
When the Group loses control of a subsidiary, the profit or loss on disposal is calculated as the difference between (i) the aggregate of the fair value of the consideration received and the fair value of any retained interest, and (ii) the previous carrying amount of the assets (including goodwill) and liabilities of the subsidiary and any non-controlling interests. Amounts previously recognized in other comprehensive income in relation to the subsidiary are accounted for (i.e. reclassified to profit or loss or transferred directly to retained earnings) in the same manner as would be required if the relevant assets or liabilities were disposed of. The fair value of any investment retained in the former subsidiary at the date when control is lost is considered to be the fair value on initial recognition for subsequent accounting in accordance with IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement or, when applicable, the cost on initial recognition of an investment in an associate or joint venture in accordance with IAS 28 Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures.
3.1.3. Investments in joint operations
A joint operation is a joint arrangement whereby the parties that have joint control of the arrangement have rights to the assets, and obligations for the liabilities, relating to the arrangement. Joint control is the contractually agreed sharing of control of an arrangement, which exists only when decisions about relevant activities require the unanimous consent of the parties sharing control. In its consolidated financial statements, the Group recognizes its share of the joint operations’ assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses, based on its ownership interest in the joint operations.
3.1.4. Investments in associates and joint ventures
An associate is an entity over which the Group has significant influence and that is neither a subsidiary nor an interest in a joint arrangement. Significant influence is the power to participate in the financial and operating policy decisions of the investee but is not control or joint control over those policies.
A joint venture is a joint arrangement whereby the parties that have joint control of the arrangement have rights to the net assets of the arrangement. Joint control is the contractually agreed sharing of control of an arrangement, which exists only when decisions about relevant activities require the unanimous consent of the parties sharing control.
The results, assets, and liabilities of associates and joint ventures are incorporated in the consolidated financial statements using the equity method of accounting, except when the investment is classified as held for sale, in which case it is accounted for in accordance with IFRS 5 Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations. Under the equity method, on initial recognition, investments in associates and joint ventures are recognized in the consolidated statement of financial position at cost, and the carrying amount is adjusted for post-acquisition changes in the Group’s share of the net assets of the associate or joint venture, less any impairment of the value of individual investments. Losses of an associate or joint venture in excess of the Group’s interest in that associate or joint venture (which includes any long-term interests that, in substance, form part of the Group’s net investment in the associate or joint venture) are recognized only to the extent that the Group has incurred legal or constructive obligations or made payments on behalf of the associate or joint venture.
Any excess of the cost of acquisition over the Group’s share of the net fair value of the identifiable assets and (contingent) liabilities of the associate or joint venture recognized at the date of acquisition is goodwill. The goodwill is included within the carrying amount of the investment and is assessed for impairment as part of that investment.
Where a Group entity transacts with an associate or joint venture of the Group, profits and losses are eliminated to the extent of the Group’s interest in the relevant associate or joint venture.
3.1.5. Main changes in consolidation scope in prior year
On March 16, 2016, Solvay and INEOS announced their intention to end their 50/50 Inovyn chlorovinyls joint venture earlier than originally foreseen, with INEOS becoming the sole shareholder. Solvay and INEOS formed Inovyn in July 2015, with Solvay's exit originally planned in July 2018. On March 31, 2016, Solvay and INEOS announced they had signed the binding agreement to end their Inovyn chlorovinyls joint venture, following their intentions announced on March 16, 2016. On July 7, 2016, upon completion of the transaction, Solvay received a payment of €335 million and INEOS became Inovyn’s sole shareholder. The exit of the joint venture followed regulatory clearances from the relevant authorities. In 2017, Solvay paid a total price adjustment approximating €80 million.
On May 2, 2016, Solvay entered into a Share Purchase Agreement with Unipar Carbocloro for the sale of its equity interests held in Solvay Indupa. During the third quarter of 2016, the fair value less cost to sell has been updated, so as to reflect the impact of the worsening of the business environment on the deal. An impairment loss in the amount of €63 million was recognized in 2016. On December 7, 2016, Solvay obtained clearance from the Brazilian antitrust authority, CADE, for the agreed sale of its 70.59% stake in Solvay Indupa to chemical group Unipar Carbocloro. Completion of the transaction, at a total enterprise value of US$202.2 million, took place on December 27, 2016.
On May 19, 2016, Solvay and Eastman Chemical Company signed a definitive agreement to end their cellulose acetate production joint venture Primester with Solvay acquiring Eastman’s 50% stake in the US-based plant and becoming its sole owner. Following the transaction, Eastman provides the long-term supply of basic utilities and raw materials to the plant, based in Kingsport, Tennessee. The closing occurred on June 2, 2016.
On December 7, 2016, Solvay reached an agreement to sell its cellulose acetate tow business, Acetow, to private equity funds managed by Blackstone (see Main events and changes in consolidation scope during the year).
On December 14, 2016, Solvay signed a definitive agreement to sell its 58.77% stake in its Thai subsidiary Vinythai PCL to Japanese company AGC Asahi Glass, thereby exiting its Asian polyvinyl chloride (PVC) activities (see Main events and changes in consolidation scope during the year).