Three firms tapped to look after Apple's €13bn tax pot
The Government is set to award potentially lucrative contracts to look after the controversial €13bn Apple tax money to a trio of global investment firms.
Amundi, BlackRock Investment Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management have been named as preferred tenderers to provide investment management services - appointments aimed at making sure than the money is protected during lengthy legal appeals.
The European Commission has ordered Ireland to collect €13bn from Apple for what it claims are unpaid taxes. The Government here and Apple say the tax was never owed and have launched a legal challenge.
However, that could take years and in the meantime the State must collect the tax and hold onto it.
If Ireland wins its case, it will hand the €13bn back to Apple at the end of the process. Investment managers are being hired to make sure the vast pot doesn't lose value in the meantime, because taxpayers would then be on the hook for any losses.
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is responsible for hiring the advisers. It and Apple will work with the preferred bidders to finalise contracts over the coming weeks, the Department of Finance said. Bank of New York Mellon has already won the contract to act as custodian for the cash.
In October the Commission started a legal action against Ireland for failing to collect the Apple bill fast enough, but that's likely to be dropped as the money is secured in the coming months.