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Macquarie wins tax case

MACQUARIE BANK, a division of the country's biggest investment bank, has won a $95 million dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over the 2004 sale of a stake in the nickel producer Minara Resources.

MACQUARIE BANK, a division of the country's biggest investment bank, has won a $95 million dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over the 2004 sale of a stake in the nickel producer Minara Resources.

In the Federal Court in Sydney yesterday, Justice Richard Edmonds dismissed the Tax Office's claim that Macquarie used a tax avoidance scheme when it engineered the sale of 165.5 million shares held by MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners at $2.90 each.

The Macquarie Group-owned bank claimed at a hearing in June that the government was attempting to assess taxes against it on profit made by MatlinPatterson.

MatlinPatterson, which was Minara's second-biggest shareholder, bought a 35.9 per cent stake in the mining company in 2003 as part of an attempt to take it over, according to court documents.

Macquarie arranged a "bought deal" in February 2004 for the MatlinPatterson shares, purchasing them for $2.65 each and selling them on to institutions for $2.90, earning $41.4 million on which the bank paid $12 million in taxes, according to the court papers.


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