NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Business » Nokia tax dispute: India freezes some assets

Nokia tax dispute: India freezes some assets

October 01, 2013 08:46 IST

Indian authorities have frozen some of Nokia's assets in a tax dispute, the Finnish phone maker said on Monday, although it does not expect the move to delay the sale of its handset business to Microsoft Corp.

ReutersNokia has been in dispute with the authorities over an income tax bill of Rs 2,080 crore (Rs 20.8 billion), one of several tax disagreements involving foreign companies in India.

Tax authorities froze Nokia's assets and bank accounts last Wednesday, a company executive said.

Nokia appealed to the Delhi high court which last Thursday ordered the bank accounts in India to be unfrozen, allowing the company to transfer or withdraw funds parked there.

But some fixed assets such as buildings remain frozen since last week, the Nokia executive said, meaning the company cannot transfer

ownership of the assets without the approval of the authorities.

"We are now talking to the authorities to clear up any lingering concerns," said the executive, declining to give details of the assets.

Nokia said the freezing of the fixed assets would not have any impact on the day-to-day operations of the company and that it had sufficient assets in India to meet its tax obligations.

Nokia's euro 5.44 billion deal to sell its handset business and license patents to Microsoft is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by shareholders and regulators.

"This does not change our earlier expectation that the transaction with Microsoft will close in Q1 2014," a Nokia spokesman said when asked about the asset freeze.

Nokia was the market leader in India until the first quarter of this year. The company has one of its biggest phone factories at Chennai in the south of the country.

Devidutta Tripathy and Ritsuko Ando in New Delhi/Helsinki
© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.