Oracle joins Apple in support of a tax repatriation plan
CEO Mark Hurd says the cash can be put to better use on American soil
By David Reid and Karen Tso
Oracle’s co-chief executive Mark Hurd has pledged support to any tax change that allows the company to funnel its huge cash pile back into the United States.
The U.S. government wants to reduce the federal corporate tax rate to 20 per cent from its current maximum level of 35 per cent. It also says profits that companies are holding overseas could soon be repatriated at a rate of around 10 per cent.
Oracle has an estimated US$66 billion sitting overseas and Hurd told CNBC that he welcomed any prospect of being able to use the cash within the United States.
“We are certainly supportive of repatriation,” he said at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal. “The opportunity to bring our cash back to the US and to invest it is certainly very attractive. And so for that part of tax reform we are very supportive.”
Hurd, who has been critical of the Trump administration in the past, said tax repatriation would help his firm make better use of its cash pile.
“You see us raising debt in the United States because of our inability to access our cash offshore,” he said.
“So the fact that we can repatriate our money allows us a much more efficient use of cash but an opportunity again to invest it back into various things that we do whether its M&A (mergers and acquisitions), new facilities, or hiring more employees.”
Despite being pressed, Hurd failed to clarify if the cash would be used to pay off some the company’s sizable debt. But he said Oracle was clearly a company committed to investment.
The sentiment echoes comments from Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who said last week that U.S. tax reform is sorely needed and should have been fixed years ago.
Apple said in an August conference call that US$246 billion of cash, 94 per cent of its total, was held outside the U.S.