Cairn has reportedly seized Indian government assets in France worth over $23 million

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Cairn has reportedly seized Indian government assets in France worth over $23 million
Cairn says it has identified $70 billion worth of Indian state assets across the worldCairn Energy
  • The UK-based oil and gas company Cairn Energy has received an order from a French court to seize Indian government assets worth €20 million.
  • Overall, 20 assets have been seized by Cairn, as it seeks to force the Indian government to pay up the $1.7 billion award, based on a 2020 decision by the Dutch arbitration tribunal.
  • Cairn says it has identified assets worth $70 billion across the world as it seeks to protect the interests of its investors.
Cairn Energy has made its first successful attempt at freezing Indian state-owned assets in its ongoing dispute with the Narendra Modi government.

According to a Financial Times report, a French court allowed Cairn Energy to take over 20 Indian government owned properties, worth €20 million (approximately ₹176 crore). It is not clear yet if these properties include those owned by any government companies.

To recall, Cairn Energy had won an arbitration award in 2020, and the Dutch tribunal had awarded the British company $1.7 billion, stating that the Indian government’s tax demand falls afoul of the India-UK Bilateral Investment treaty.

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For context, Cairn’s current market capitalisation stands at £749 million, and it has 180 employees.

In response, the Indian government filed an appeal on the grounds that this is a sovereign matter and alleged tax avoidance by the British company.

This is the first asset seizure in Cairn’s bid to protect the interests of its investors and force the Indian government to pay the $1.7 billion award. The company says, as reported by FT, that it has identified over $70 billion worth of Indian state assets, including buildings and Air India aircraft, that it may try to seize to force the Modi government to pay up.

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“Our strong preference remains an agreed, amicable settlement with the Government of India to draw this matter to a close, and to that end we have submitted a detailed series of proposals to them since February this year. However, in the absence of such a settlement, Cairn Energy must take all necessary legal actions to protect the interests of its international shareholders," Cairn told Business Insider in a statement.

SEE ALSO:

Indian government appeals against tribunal ruling of $1.4 billion Cairn arbitration award

UK's Cairn Energy identifies $70 billion Indian assets for seizing to recover amount due from government
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