After agreeing to a record €1.25 billion tax settlement in Italy last year, the French luxury group Kering is now being investigated by financial prosecutors in France. The inquiry “appears to be linked to the potential consequences” in France for the company’s use of a Swiss logistics centre, LGI, Kering said in a statement Thursday confirming the investigation.
The centre’s alleged role in dramatically lowering taxes for its flagship brand Gucci led to last year’s settlement in Italy. Investigative news site Mediapart, which first revealed the Swiss operation in 2018, reported this week that the charges now being investigated in France were for “aggravated laundering of tax evasion.” Investigators are focusing on how Swiss scheme impacted taxes at its French brands Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, Mediapart said.
In its statement confirming the investigation, Kering nonetheless said it “refutes in the strongest possible terms” the article’s allegations.
Editor’s Note: This article was revised on 18th December 2020. An earlier version of this article stated that Kering confirmed it was being investigated for financial crimes. The article has been updated to clarify that Kering confirmed the investigation and not that its actions were criminal.