Nokia asks Delhi HC to help release Chennai unit seized in tax dispute

New Delhi | Updated: Nov 22 2013, 10:08am hrs
To resolve its tax dispute with the income tax authorities ahead of the sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft, Nokia on Thursday urged the Delhi High Court to help release its factory in Chennai after its seizure by the tax authorities.

To lift the seizure, the company has also proposed to pay up a part of the R2,080-crore tax demand to the tax authorities.

The company said it did not expect the dispute to affect its $7.3-billion deal with Microsoft and was prepared for the possibility that the Chennai plant will not be transferred to the US company in time for the sale, which is due to close in the first quarter of next year. If the seizure is still in place when the Microsoft deal is finalised, Nokia could briefly operate the plant as a contract manufacturer for Microsoft. It also told the court that in that event it may even look at winding up the factory over a period of 12 months.

Nokia has been in disagreement with the tax authorities over an income tax bill of R2,080 crore, one of several tax disagreements involving foreign companies in India.

In a statement, the company said it wanted the assets to be released by December 12. The court will hold a hearing on November 28.