During the hearing of Nokia vs Indian IT department tax row in Supreme Court today, the Nokia counsel has revealed that Nokia-Microsoft deal will get closed within 20 days and even the Chinese government has cleared the deal.
Nokia counsel said that the Microsoft global deal will be closed within 20 days. Even some bureaucratic hitches in China have been resolved. If the deal is stuck in India, it will go without Chennai plant manufacturing handset for the Finnish parent.
The Supreme court has asked Nokia to submit the valuation of Nokia India subsidiary and has ruled that it can’t force Nokia Finland, the holding company to submit an assurance. SC also pointed that dividend of 3500 crore paid by Nokia India to Nokia Finland can’t be brought back, as it is the right of the subsidiary to pay dividend to the holding company.
The I-T department reiterated that there is at least tax liability of Rs 10000 crore against Nokia and that the company must be asked to submit a bank guarantee and not just an undertaking. It also wanted Nokia Finland to submit an assurance. To which the Supreme Court said that Nokia Finland, which is a holding company cannot be forced to protect the interest of the subsidiary. The apex court also pointed out that Rs 3500 crore, which was paid by Nokia India to Nokia Finland by way of dividends cannot be brought back simply because it is the right of the subsidiary to pay dividend to the holding company.
Nokia India has however adopted a bit aggressive stance asking whether government can find a better price for Nokia India. It it can, it is welcome to take it over.
Company counsel said that the price put on the Indian unit is Rs 2,200 crore and if the government could get a better price, it was welcome to take it over. Mircroft is the best buyer and if anyone is willing to give a better price, they are welcome to buy it. “There is no sham or dishonesty; the unit either goes to Microsoft or goes down the drain,” counsel said. The Indian unit is only 9% of the Finnish corporation business.
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