The mechanism and the thermodn. of the formation of EX2+, EX4+ and E2X5+ (E = As, P; X = Br, I) was carefully analyzed with MP2/TZVPP calcns. and inclusion of entropy and solvation effects (COSMO model approximating CH2Cl2). Thus, as likely intermediates the complexes of Ag+ and one or two EX3 as well as EX3/X2 were optimized. The global min. isomers of the Ag(EX3)2+ intermediates were found to be P-coordinated Ag(PI3)2+ and (BrPBr2)Ag(PBr3)+ but exclusively halogen coordinated Ag(X2AsX)2+ complexes. Similarly complicated is the situation for the Ag(EX3)(X2)+ intermediates: (I3E)Ag(I2)+, (BrAsBr2)Ag(Br2)+ and (Br3P)(Br-Br)Ag+ complexes were found to be the global min. Based on all available results likely mechanisms for the formation of the known PX4+, AsBr4+, P2X5+ salts (X = Br, I) from these intermediates were proposed. An explanation for the failure to prep. an AsI4+ salt is also given. [on SciFinder (R)]