Companies that received support in the Netherlands paid out dividends abroad
A number of companies that received financial support in the Netherlands in 2020 saw their parent companies pay out millions in profit to shareholders abroad, the NOS has reported.
At least three parent companies paid out millions to shareholders
Investigations found that three of the largest recipients of financial aid via the government’s NOW scheme saw their international parent companies pay out dividends to shareholders. NOS have revealed that the companies that definitely did this were the Swiss parent company of the employment agency Adecco, the American parent company of truck builder DAF Trucks, and the French parent company of IT company Atos.
The parent company of Adecco (Adecco Invest SA) received almost 55 million euros last year for its Dutch branch, but plans to pay out a profit of approximately 365 million euros to shareholders. DAF Trucks received almost 49 million euros, while the parent company (Paccar Inc) made a profit of around 576 million euros which was distributed among shareholders. Lastly, Atos received over 22 million euros from the NOW scheme, and the parent company (Atos SE) made a profit of approximately 97 million euros.
International companies didn't break Dutch government's rules for NOW
Documents requested by NOS showed that the Dutch government had initially wanted to prevent foreign parent companies from distributing their profits abroad if their Dutch branch had received financial support. But this plan was met with criticism from the business community, and the Ministry of Social Affairs said the ban would mean Dutch companies wouldn’t be eligible for the support, which ultimately would result in job losses.
This means the three companies mentioned above have not violated any rules, but it is worth noting that any Dutch company that received support via the NOW scheme is explicitly banned from paying dividends or awarding senior management a bonus.