Nokia has withdrawn its appeal to revoke the asset freeze on its manufacturing facility in Chennai in the Delhi High Court, citing the loss of interest of buyers it had lined up to purchase the facility.
The dispute between the Income Tax authorities and Nokia has dragged on for over a year now, resulting in Microsoft omitting the acquisition of the Finnish company’s Indian plant when it took over its handset division.
Nokia’s move to revoke its appeal comes soon after the Essar Group said that it was no longer interested in buying the facility. At least three companies were believed to be interested in buying the plant, but now all have gone away.
Ernst & Young which was appointed by the court valued the plant between Rs 360 and Rs 415 crore. However, the Tax authorities told the court that the value arrived at for the plant was far too small compared to what the company owed in taxes.
The transfer of Nokia’s handset manufacturing business meant that thousands of employees who worked at the plant lost their jobs, and with the company has made it clear that it isn’t planning on getting back to the business.
The company has been urging the government to de-link the manufacturing plant from the tax dispute, and while the Modi Government did acknowledge the gravity of the matter, it has done nothing so far.