According to the investigative media Disclose, the children of the Minister for Energy Transition are partners of this French company, not mentioned on the Minister’s declaration of interests.
“The HATVP will open investigations following this report”, it was indicated within this independent authority.
The High Authority, which collects the declarations of interests and activities of the ministers, also has the role of scrutinizing the possible risks of conflicts of interest of the ministers, and the means of remedying them.
The minister denounced Tuesday to the Assembly “false and slanderous allegations”, ensuring that this subject had “no connection with (his) functions as minister”.
“There is therefore nothing concealed, nothing hidden”, she insisted, explaining that the operations concerned had been carried out by “through a French company”.
Questioned by Disclose, the minister refers, about the origin of the funds, to her father, ex-director of the oil company Perenco, who set up this company.
Jean-Michel Runacher actually created in 2016 in France this civil society, named Arjunem, as part of a transmission of heritage, bringing it for around 1.2 million euros in shares, according to Disclose.
Four of her grandchildren are partners, including the three children of Mrs. Pannier-Runacher who were minors at the time, and for whom the minister signed as legal representative.
According to Disclose, this heritage comes from hedge funds, based in Delaware, Ireland and Guernsey, and in which Perenco also held investments.
Ms Pannier-Runacher affirms that she does not have “to declare this structure”, since the law obliges her to declare her direct participations and those of her spouse, but not those of her children, which the HATVP confirmed. .
She explained in a detailed response that her children were bare owners and therefore did not receive any dividend, Jean-Michel Runacher remaining the usufructuary. She added that Arjunem was “subject to French taxation”.
The financial products are deposited in a bank in Luxembourg, confirmed Ms. Pannier-Runacher.
“It is not about my heritage, but that of my children who, themselves, have no power to manage the company to date”, replied the minister to Disclose.
– “Tax optimization –
On the origin of the funds, Jean-Michel Runacher “contributed fund shares that have no connection with Perenco. These are investments acquired in the past as part of his personal investments”, he said. she says, referring to her father “for more details”.
“Whatever the legal form of these funds, the holder of the shares pays the taxation of his country of residence”, specified to AFP the minister, who also sees no conflict of interest between his ministerial functions and his father’s former activities.
The oil company Perenco, his father’s former employer, is “a foreign company which exists, which exercises its oil activities outside France. I therefore did not have, within the framework of my functions as Minister, to know the activities of this group”.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne let her minister defend herself and told the deputies that her “role was not to comment on press articles”. “We are in a hemicycle, not in a court,” she added.
“It is not this article which should decide the fate of the minister”, noted during a press briefing Loïc Signor, spokesman for the presidential party Renaissance.
MP Clémence Guetté (LFI) wondered about “the probity” to accelerate on renewable energies of a minister “whose indirect financial interests are visibly linked to oil companies”.
Pointing to funds that “come from somewhat exotic countries”, Olivier Marleix, boss of LR deputies, estimated that this amounted to “tremendous tax optimization”.