Cairn Energy freezes Indian government assets in Paris, Financial Times reports

The Ministry of Finance has said that it has “not received any notice, order or communication” in response to reports of government property being frozen in France. The response follows a report by Financial Times on Thursday which quoted the UK-based Cairn Energy as saying that it “had effectively seized Indian state-owned properties in Paris.”

Edinburgh-based oil and gas exploration firm Cairn Energy is in dispute with the Indian government over a 2014 retrospective tax bill, when the country’s tax office seized a 10% stake in Indian operations that Cairn was trying to sell – Cairn took the issue to an international tribunal, which awarded the company $1.7bn in costs and damages in December 2020. The Indian government has appealed against this.

Cairn Energy, HQd Edinburgh, has begun moves to seize Indian govt assets, starting with 20 properties in Paris: 7-year dispute over tax and a freeze on assets in India, which came to a £1bn-plus arbitration award in Cairn’s favour. Also looking to seize Air India planes in USA

What the report said– It says it has identified $70bn of assets around the world ranging from buildings to Air India aircraft that it may try to seize as long as the Modi government refuses to pay – Its asset freeze application in Paris is the first to succeed. The company said it would effectively transfer the ownership of 20 properties valued at more than €20m, including in the 16th and 14th arrondissements – Official documents seen by the Financial Times confirmed the French court had authorised the freeze

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