Asterias established deferred tax liabilities primarily related to its acquisition of certain intellectual property and available for sale securities held in BioTime and OncoCyte common stock. Asterias established a full valuation allowance for federal deferred tax assets as of December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2015, Asterias did not have any valuation allowance on its federal deferred tax assets due to the deferred tax liabilities exceeding the deferred tax assets as of that date. Asterias’ deferred tax liabilities are a source of taxable income as prescribed by ASC 740-10-30-17. For the California deferred tax assets, Asterias established a valuation allowance as of December 31, 2016 and 2015.
In June 2014, Asterias sold 5,000,000 BioTime shares that resulted in a taxable gain of approximately $10.3 million. Asterias received the BioTime shares from BioTime as part of the consideration for the Asterias common stock and warrants issued to BioTime under an Asset Contribution Agreement among BioTime, Asterias, and Geron Corporation, in a tax-free transaction. This taxable gain was offset by available net operating losses, resulting in no income taxes due from the sale. The transaction was treated as a deemed distribution by Asterias and recorded as a charge to equity.
n December 31, 2015, BioTime distributed 4.7 million shares of OncoCyte common stock to its shareholders, including Asterias, on a pro rata basis as a dividend in kind. As part of the distribution of OncoCyte common stock, Asterias, as it also holds BioTime common stock, received 192,644 shares of OncoCyte common stock as contributed capital from BioTime resulting in a taxable gain to Asterias of $819,000. Asterias has sufficient current year losses from operations to offset the entire taxable gain resulting in no income taxes due. As the distribution was treated as a dividend in kind for financial reporting purposes, Asterias recorded the tax effect of this gain through equity consistent with BioTime’s treatment of the distribution in accordance with ASC 740-20-45-11(g).
On February 16, 2016, Asterias entered into a Cross-License Agreement and Share Transfer Agreement with BioTime and BioTime's wholly owned subsidiary ES Cell International Pte. Ltd. (“ESI”). The transfer of assets was a taxable transaction to Asterias generating a taxable gain of approximately $3.1 million. Asterias has sufficient current year losses from operations to offset the entire gain resulting in no income taxes due. As the transfer of assets and the resulting taxable gain is due to a direct effect of transactions between Asterias and its then parent company, BioTime, Asterias recorded the tax effect of this gain through equity with a corresponding release of the valuation allowance, in accordance with ASC 740-20-45-11(g), during the year ended December 31, 2016.
Internal Revenue Code Section 382 places a limitation (“Section 382 Limitation”) on the amount of taxable income that can be offset by net operating loss (“NOL”) carryforwards after a change in control (generally greater than 50% change in ownership within a three-year period) of a loss corporation. California has similar rules. Generally, after a control change, a loss corporation cannot deduct NOL carryforwards in excess of the Section 382 Limitation. Due to these “change in ownership” provisions, utilization of the NOL and tax credit carryforwards may be subject to an annual limitation regarding their utilization against taxable income in future periods.
Asterias will file an income tax return in the U.S. federal jurisdiction, and may file income tax returns in various U.S. states and foreign jurisdictions.
Asterias may be subject to potential examination by U.S. federal, U.S. states or foreign jurisdiction authorities in the areas of income taxes. These potential examinations may include questioning the timing and amount of deductions, the nexus of income among various tax jurisdictions and compliance with U.S. federal, U.S. state and foreign tax laws. Asterias’ management does not expect that the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits will materially change over the next twelve months.
11. Segment Information
Operating segments are defined as components of an enterprise that engage in business activities for which separate financial information is available and evaluated by the chief operating decision maker in deciding how to allocate resources and assess performance. Asterias’ executive management team represents its chief operating decision maker. The executive management team reviews financial information presented on a consolidated basis for purposes of allocating resources and evaluating financial performance and there are no managers who are held accountable for levels or components below the consolidated unit level. Asterias executive management views Asterias’ operations as one segment.