Investigators have apparently searched the Munich offices of asset manager Blackrock. It's about tax tricks. Chairman of the Supervisory Board is the CDU politician Merz. He ordered a comprehensive investigation.
The Cologne public prosecutor has searched according to consistent media reports rooms of the world's largest asset manager Blackrock in Munich. Reason is a procedure to controversial share transactions, the "Cum Ex" deals. The authorities did not want to confirm or deny this.
A spokesperson for Blackrock told The Bild that they are fully cooperating with the investigative authorities in an ongoing investigation into transactions between 2007 and 2011.
Merz calls for clarification
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Blackrock's German subsidiary since 2016 is Friedrich Merz, who is applying for the CDU party chairmanship. The investigation is about time before Merz became chief controller at Blackrock.
Merz said at an event in Dusseldorf that he had instructed the management to fully investigate all incidents involving these transactions and cooperate with the investigators. "Everything will be investigated and we will actively participate."
Already in the past week, the CDU politician had been critical of "Cum-Ex" transactions. These "ultimately served to exempt the taxpayer," he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The shops were "completely immoral", regardless of the legal rating.
Immoral, but legal
For "cum-ex" deals, banks and funds shifted shares around a dividend cut-off date. They were able to have such a once paid capital gains tax refunded multiple times. In Germany alone, the taxpayers apparently incurred a high billions of damages. In 2012, the legal loophole was closed.
CDU politician and supervisory board chairman Merz said it was only fair that there was a public debate about his work at Blackrock. He had "nothing else expected".