IFRS 5, IFRS 10 - Disposal of subsidiaries, businesses and non-current assets

Publication date: 13 Feb 2017

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IFRS 5, ‘Non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations’, is relevant when any disposal occurs or is planned including distribution of non-current assets to shareholders. The held-for-sale criteria in IFRS 5 apply to non-current assets (or disposal groups) whose value will be recovered principally through sale rather than through continuing use. The criteria do not apply to non-assets that are being scrapped, wound down or abandoned.

IFRS 5 defines a disposal group as a group of assets to be disposed of, by sale or otherwise, together as a group in a single transaction, and liabilities directly associated with those assets that will be transferred in the transaction.

The non-current asset (or disposal group) is classified as ‘held for sale’ if it is available for immediate sale in its present condition and its sale is highly probable. A sale is ‘highly probable’ where: there is evidence of management commitment; there is an active programme to locate a buyer and complete the plan; the asset is actively marketed for sale at a reasonable price compared to its fair value; the sale is expected to be completed within 12 months of the date of classification; and actions required to complete the plan indicate that it is unlikely that there will be significant changes to the plan or that it will be withdrawn.

A non-current asset (or disposal group) is classified as ‘held for distribution to owners’ when the entity is committed to such distribution (that is, the assets must be available for immediate distribution in their present condition and the distribution must be highly probable). For a distribution to be highly probable, actions to complete the distribution should have been initiated and should be expected to be completed within one year from the date of classification. Actions required to complete the distribution should indicate that it is unlikely that significant changes to the distribution will be made or that the distribution will be withdrawn. The probability of shareholders’ approval (if required in the jurisdiction) should be considered in the assessment of 'highly probable'.

Non-current assets (or disposal groups) classified as held for sale or as held for distribution are:

  • measured at the lower of the carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell;
  • not depreciated or amortised; and
  • presented separately in the balance sheet (assets and liabilities should not be offset).

A discontinued operation is a component of an entity that can be distinguished operationally and financially for financial reporting purposes from the rest of the entity and:

  • represents a separate major line of business or geographical area of operation;
  • is part of a single co-ordinated plan to dispose of a separate major line of business or major geographical area of operation; or
  • is a subsidiary acquired exclusively with a view for resale.

An operation is classified as discontinued only at the date on which the operation meets the criteria to be classified as held for sale or when the entity has disposed of the operation. Although balance sheet information is neither restated nor remeasured for discontinued operations, the statement of comprehensive income information does have to be restated for the comparative period.

Discontinued operations are presented separately in the income statement and the cash flow statement. There are additional disclosure requirements in relation to discontinued operations.

The date of disposal of a subsidiary or disposal group is the date on which control passes. The consolidated income statement includes the results of a subsidiary or disposal group up to the date of disposal; the gain or loss on disposal is the difference between (a) the carrying amount of the net assets plus any attributable goodwill and amounts accumulated in other comprehensive income (for example, foreign translation adjustments and available-for-sale reserves); and (b) the proceeds of sale.

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