Kane Energy freezes Indian state-owned assets in Paris

Cairn Energy stated that it has effectively confiscated Indian state-owned assets in Paris, which is a dramatic escalation. struggle The relationship between the Scottish oil producer and the Narendra Modi government.

Kane’s actions are the latest attempt to force India to pay the US$1.7 billion that the International Court of Justice has ruled in a tax dispute.

Cairn’s market value is only 752 million pounds, with only 180 employees. After a long-term arbitration, it was awarded this sum last year.

It said that it has identified $70 billion in assets worldwide, from buildings to Air India’s aircraft, and as long as the Modi government refuses to pay, it may try to confiscate these assets.

Its application for an asset freeze in Paris was the first to succeed. The company stated that it will effectively transfer the ownership of 20 properties with a value of more than 20 million euros, including the 16th and 14th districts. Official documents seen by the British “Financial Times” confirm that the French court has authorized the freezing.

This strategy is similar to that of the American hedge fund Elliott Capital Management, which seized an Argentine warship in Ghana in 2012 due to a debt dispute. Kane even hired Dennis Hranitz, a lawyer who handled the Eliot dispute.

Cairn is headquartered in Edinburgh and listed in London. The company has been seeking support from the British government to help its claims, but was frustrated by the slow progress and the Modi government’s refusal to pay. The British government is actively seeking to reach a post-Brexit trade agreement with India.

The oil group stated that the property freeze approved by the French court of justice in Paris is “a necessary preparatory step to obtain property ownership and ensure that any sales proceeds belong to Keynes.”

Analysts said that New Delhi is unwilling to implement international arbitration awards, but continues to appeal the verdict in court, which is consistent with the Modi government’s refusal to admit any errors in its governance. Any payment made to Kane now can be considered a tacit admission of wrongdoing.

Earlier this year, Partha Mukhopadhyay, a senior researcher at the New Delhi Policy Research Center, said: “This government knows very well-they cannot admit that they have made a mistake-even if it is staring at you. .”

According to a law passed in 2012, India retroactively required Kane Energy to pay US$1.4 billion in taxes related to the British Group’s listing of its Indian subsidiary on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2007.

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In December last year, the Dutch arbitration tribunal ruled that India had violated its obligations under the 2014 UK-India bilateral investment treaty, when tax officials seized the remaining 10% of Kane Energy’s equity in the subsidiary and sold it to Vedanta.

The Indian government did not respond to a request for comment.

“We strongly prefer an agreed and friendly solution with the Indian government to end this matter,” Kane said, adding that it “has submitted a series of detailed proposals to them since February this year.”

“However, in the absence of such a settlement, Kane must take all necessary legal actions to protect the interests of its international shareholders.”

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