REFILE-Partners Group's Gantner backs 15% global corporate tax minimum - interview

(Corrects name of newspaper to Schweiz, not Schweitzer)

ZURICH, July 3 (Reuters) - Swiss investment manager Partners Group’s co-founder Alfred Gantner supports a global 15% minimum corporate tax rate, telling a Swiss newspaper such a change “is a step in the right direction” and would “definitely not” hurt his firm’s prospects.

“If you’re asking me if Partners Group would be worse off with a tax rate of 15% instead of our average international rate of 13.3%, my answer is definitely not,” Gantner told Schweiz am Wochenende, published on Saturday.

Some 130 countries have backed the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) push for a minimum corporate income tax on multinational companies of at least 15%, which could yield $150 billion in additional tax revenue annually.

Partners Group is based in the tax friendly Swiss canton of Zug, whose rate is less than 12%.

Gantner, 53, who 25 years ago helped found the investment company that owns a majority of toymaker Schleich and has a minority holding in Chinese shipper Apex Logistics, is more critical of the second pillar of the OECD reforms, to shift taxing rights to countries where profits are earned.

These proposed rules on where multinationals are taxed emerged as digital commerce enabled big tech firms to book profits in low tax countries, regardless of where they money was earned.

“Here, I see more problems than with the minimum tax,” Gantner told the newspaper. “That kind of a shift might make sense for a purely online company whose value creation such as the distribution of goods falls in the markets where the goods are sold.”

But for production companies, he said, stronger tax focus on the sales markets is insufficient because their value creation takes place primarily where research and production occurs. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Alex Richardson)