Eyeing Tax Advantage, Pentair To Reincorporate In Ireland

While the company’s primary operations remain in Golden Valley, Pentair is shifting its official place of incorporation from Switzerland to Ireland, citing a more advantageous legal and regulatory system.

One of Minnesota’s largest public companies, Pentair, announced Tuesday that it plans to relocate its place of incorporation from Switzerland to Ireland.
Pentair—which manufactures valves, filtration and pump systems, water storage tanks, and other products for the energy industry—is technically based out of Switzerland, following its merger with the flow control division of the Switzerland-based Tyco International last fall, but it maintains all of its primary operations in Golden Valley. 
Pentair CEO Randall Hogan said the company’s reincorporation is meant to create more value for its shareholders.
“We believe the well-developed legal and regulatory system and established standards of corporate governance in Ireland provides us with advantages as a publicly traded NYSE company,” Hogan said in a statement. “Coupled with the stable and internationally competitive tax system in the U.K., we believe it will help us maintain our competitive position in the global marketplace.”
Pentair said its shareholders will vote to approve the change at a meeting in the second quarter of 2014. Pending the vote, the company will become a newly formed Irish company called Pentair Plc, which will serve as a parent company of Pentair and its subsidiaries.
The company has 140 employees at four locations in Switzerland but, according to company spokeswoman Rebecca Osborn, the reincorporation in Ireland will have very little, if any, effect on that work force—or on the company’s Minnesota employees.
Shareholders will receive one Pentair Plc share for each Pentair share they own, the company said. Pentair will continue to trade under the symbol “PNR.”
Meanwhile, Pentair also announced Tuesday that the company plans to buy back up to $1 billion of its own stock. Hogan said this will leave the company with about $2 billion in funds for additional business reinvestment or share buy backs in 2015.
Pentair reported annual revenue of $4.4 billion at the end of 2012, which was up 28 percent from $3.5 billion the year before. Pentair employs more than 30,000 people worldwide.