SPECIAL PURPOSE VEHICLE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     23rd October 2023        
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Context: The defense ministry has recently shifted research funds to the private sector, enabling collaborative design of military platforms through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for projects like fighters, tanks, missiles, and helicopters.

  • Under SPV model a Indian govt agency will lead the project and select private companies to develop major technologies and components for the system.

Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs)

  • About: A SPV is a legal entity created for a well-defined, sole, and narrow purpose.
  • Formation: Typically, SPVs are established as companies with the specific goal of achieving one or a group of narrowly defined objectives by their promoters.
  • Purpose: SPVs are primarily formed to segregate a company's assets or activities from its main operations.
  • Isolation of Assets: Assets or activities are transferred to the SPV, creating a distinct entity that provides investors or lenders with a greater sense of security and comfort.
  • Risk Mitigation and Insurance: SPVs and the sponsoring company, often the parent company, are protected against the risk of bankruptcy through insurance.

Objectives of SPVs

  • Securitization: Banks utilize SPVs for securitizing loans, converting them into tradeable securities.
  • Risk-sharing: SPV formation allows companies to legally isolate the risks associated with a particular project.
  • Property Sale: When property sales taxes are higher than capital gains taxes, companies can establish SPVs to own the properties for sale, thereby reducing tax liabilities.
  • Asset Transfer: For assets that are difficult to transfer directly, a company can create an SPV to take ownership. Subsequently, the SPV can be sold as part of mergers and acquisitions processes.

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