The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published IFRS Viewpoint—Acquisition of investment properties-asset purchase or business combination?

The IFRS Viewpoint series provides insights on applying IFRS in challenging situations. Each edition will focus on an area where the Standards have proved difficult to apply or lack guidance.

This edition considers whether the purchase of an investment property is accounted for as a business combination or as an asset acquisition.

The issue

When should a purchase of investment property (or properties) be accounted for as a business  combination, and when as a simple asset purchase? This is an important issue because the IFRS accounting requirements for a business combination are very different from asset purchases.