In recent times, a lot of business combinations have been carried out in the financial markets. According to the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) n. 3, if certain conditions are met, business combinations must be accounted for by applying the purchase method. The process implies, among other things, the recognition of the fair values of the identifiable assets (both tangible and intangible) and liabilities, and, as a residual element, of the goodwill paid related to the acquired entity. Some business combinations (those carried out by the exchange of equity instruments) determine the emergence of a group of entities, with the acquirer holding the majority, either directly or indirectly, of one or more entities, with the direct implication that the fair values of the assets and liabilities acquired have to emerge both in the consolidated financial statements of the group and in the separate financial statements of the acquirer (via the stock investments in the controlled entities). For this reason, when the preparation of the separate financial statements of the acquirer is required (as it is the case in Italy), the impairment test prescribed by the International Accounting Standard (IAS) n. 36 has to be conducted both on a consolidated financial statements and on a separate financial statements perspective. All that said, the article has the objective of analyzing some issues emerging from this “dual” perspective, specifically regarding the identification of the Cash Generating Units (CGUs) regarding to which the test has to be carried out.
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