Arris stock on Thursday rose over 22 percent—leading the Nasdaq Composite index. The gain was due to an announcement that the , a U.K.-based telecommunications company.
The deal will allow Arris to change its domicile to the United Kingdom, where it will enjoy a 21 percent tax rate, rather than the typical 35 percent rate here in America. Such deals, known as tax inversions, were very much in vogue in 2014. The Department of the Treasury made changes in late 2014 that were meant to discourage inversions by blocking some of the tax benefits.
Inversions may have subsided for a bit, but Arris proves that they aren't dead—and companies are still willing to try them out, if the savings are worth it. Data from Dealogic show that inversions are still trickling in in 2015.
Dealogic counts as an inversion any deal of at least $500 million with at least a 75 percent acquisition in companies in certain tax haven countries and European countries.
"We're acquiring Pace to grow our business, which will benefit our shareholders, employees, customers and partners around the world," said an Arris spokesperson in a statement. "We view the inversion opportunity as a secondary benefit, and as a global company, planning an expanded global presence, it made strategic sense."
Arris just started sponsoring driver Carl Edwards in the Nascar Sprint Cup Series. How will fans of Nascar, which is known for its pro-American audience and Southern heritage, react? Carl Edwards in particular has the most impact on TV ratings when he wins, as compared to any other driver.
Will Edwards' fans—and the sport's fans in general—respond negatively if they realize that their newest sponsor is playing these tax games and now wants to consider itself a foreign company—for the purpose of saving on taxes? The Nascar fan base tends not to sell patriotism for a price. This should be interesting.