fb

When is a discontinued activity not a discontinued activity?

General Motors has had a difficult time of late, but things appear to be getting better.  Dogged by poor sales in its core US market, it was forced to raise cash by drastic means.  This involved agreeing the sale of its European subsidiaries (Opel and Vauxhall).  The sale of both to a consortium including Russian banks and Canadian car spares manufacturers. There were legal formalities to complete, but the deal had been announced, largely supported by the German government and looked certain to go through.

At the start of November 2009, it was announced that the board of General Motors had met after a mammoth session and decided not to do the deal to sell its European businesses.  The environment for GM had improved more rapidly than expected and a sale no longer looked necessary.

A discontinued activity is defined in IFRS 5 paragraph 32 as a separate business unit that (a)represents a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations,(b)is part of a single co-ordinated plan to dispose of a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations or(c)is a subsidiary acquired exclusively with a view to resale.  Vauxhall/Opel sounds like it would fit this definition.  It may have been presented as a discontinued activity after being reclassified as held for sale.

It’s unusual for a volte face this big to happen, but it occasionally does. It can produce odd effects in profit, as items are written down to expected sales value and then reclassified at their previous carrying value.

Share this entry

Recent articles

View All Articles
PwC Australia and the “Rule of Three”
Sep 21, 2023
Title
PwC Australia and the “Rule of Three”
Excerpt

As the future business leaders of tomorrow, it’s crucial for students to stay updated on key developments in […]

CIMA VS ACCA: which is best for you? (and what about CMA?)
Sep 15, 2023
Title
CIMA VS ACCA: which is best for you? (and what about CMA?)
Excerpt

When it comes to a career in accounting or finance, deciding which professional qualification to pursue can be […]

How’s your lipstick?
Sep 12, 2023
Title
How’s your lipstick?
Excerpt

In the world of business, understanding consumer behavior is crucial. The “lipstick effect” offers a fascinating glimpse into […]

How an online Certified Management Accountant (CMA) course can advance your career.
Sep 05, 2023
Title
How an online Certified Management Accountant (CMA) course can advance your career.
Excerpt

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business world, professionals are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves and advance […]

Waiting for your ACCA exam results…
Sep 01, 2023
Title
Waiting for your ACCA exam results…
Excerpt

Waiting for the results of your ACCA exams can be an incredibly stressful time. The uncertainty, the anticipation, […]

APM vs AFM ACCA: which path suits your career goals?
Aug 30, 2023
Title
APM vs AFM ACCA: which path suits your career goals?
Excerpt

“Which is easier – Advanced Performance Management (APM) or Advanced Financial Management (AFM)?”

ROI: how enrolling employees on ACCA courses will yield long-term business success
Aug 18, 2023
Title
ROI: how enrolling employees on ACCA courses will yield long-term business success
Excerpt

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is one of the most respected global accounting qualifications. Organisations across […]

Would Michael Porter sleep in this bed?
Aug 14, 2023
Title
Would Michael Porter sleep in this bed?
Excerpt

Management theories play a significant role in guiding corporate strategy. And when it comes to strategy and management […]