HELSINKI Feb 12 Nokia said on Wednesday it
plans to challenge a Delhi High Court ruling that is blocking
the transfer to Microsoft of assets related to its mobile phone
One such asset - a plant in the southern Indian city of
Chennai - is among Nokia's biggest phone-making
factories. Local authorities seized it last year in a tax
dispute, blocking its transfer to Microsoft which bought Nokia's
mobile phone business.
Nokia agreed in December to place 22.50 billion rupees ($367
million) into an escrow account and pay for any additional tax
claims once all legal avenues had been exhausted, but the Delhi
High Court ruled on Feb. 5 that it must pay deposits on local
authority tax claims as these claims are made.
A company spokesman said Nokia made its latest appeal to
India's Supreme Court.
Nokia could continue running the plant as a contract
manufacturer for Microsoft if an asset transfer is blocked, but
the company wants to quit the mobile phone business to
concentrate on selling network equipment.
The planned 5.4 billion euro ($7.4 billion) sale to
Microsoft had been expected to close before the end of the first
quarter but the tax dispute looks set to drag on for longer.
Nokia's board chairman and interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa is
meeting Indian ministers in New Delhi on Wednesday and Thursday.
India is also in a $2 billion tax dispute, which began in
2007, with Britain's Vodafone Group Plc VOD.L.