A Scottish company with 180 employees hijacking Indian airlines may seem unexpected.
But Cairn Energy wants regulators to do the same soon in a case that sets UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson interested in representing British companies as they seek to engage in Brexit trade.
Cairn, which has an annual turnover of less than $ 400m but retailers include BlackRock and Vanguard, and against Air India in New York to demand a prize against New Delhi of $ 1.2bn plus interest – a total of $ 1.7bn.
The oil and gas company is trying to prove that Air India is a “reformer” of the Indian government and is “in line with… To repay the debt and what India has to do”, which could lead to U.S. corporations seizing cargo jets. It also writes for lawyer Dennis Hranitzky, who in 2012 assisted seized the Argentine ship in Ghana as part of a long-running war between US hedge fund Elliott Capital Management and Buenos Aires.
Cairn’s prize was made by an international court in the Netherlands in December. If forced, it could lead to the return of its shareholders to Cairn and re-establish a business that has been going on for several years and a dispute that has forced them to extract resources, lay off workers and cut costs.
But five months later, the government of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not show signs of payment.
The case is one of several companies in the western part of New Delhi. Vodafone was also is involved in the controversy and tax officials in India, who want a 3bn refund.
There is coming a difficult time for UK-India relations. Countries last month cited “street map of 2030” fostering relationships in areas such as trade and security. London hopes to start negotiations on a full-blown trade deal this fall.
The war has been enshrined in a 2012 law that allows New Delhi to pay taxes on border crossings where the original items were in India.
In 2014 Cairn was banned from selling its remaining 10% stake in Cairn India when government officials launched a tax investigation. The following year he was beaten by $ 1.6bn tax.
Cairn called on the outcome of the bilateral agreement between the UK-India to push for tax evasion and to seek financial compensation. Most of its properties in Cairn India, which later merged with Vedanta, were sold by Indian tax authorities.
Johnson did not mention the controversy when he sang last month with Modi. The UK line-up is that it does not take part in any non-partisan state law, although people familiar with the matter say previous governments have criticized Cairn’s case.
“We can’t live without Boris Johnson failing to stand up for British corporations… Just believing that this could drive the future of business,” said Emily Thornberry, trade secretary for Labor photography.
The Scottish government will ensure that “the Scottish economy and its resources are sounded up to the UK government before or during future negotiations with the Indian government on trade agreements”.
Cairn, which has listed $ 70bn of India’s global economy that could continue, confirms that it is still “open for good dialogue with the Indian government”.
International legal experts point out that some Indian resources such as stocks and bank accounts could be compromised, and that the strategy against Air India – which the Modi government is trying to sell – was designed to work.
“They are trying to get justice out of the way,” said an international lawyer, who described Cairn’s actions as “aggressive”.
Satvik Varma, a lawyer in New Delhi, said Cairn had a number of options because Indian courts do not recognize the acceptance of international awards in accordance with the bilateral agreement. “Cairn is also accountable to shareholders and once it receives a reward it must do everything in its power to seek redress,” he said.
One of the 15 shareholders in Cairn said: “It’s a lot of money – by the end of the day you probably have to be aggressive.”
Rasmi Ranjan Das, co-secretary of the finance ministry, told the Financial Times that New Delhi was still in talks with Cairn. “The state is open to establishing peace” but it should be “according to Indian law”, he said. “The government’s responsibility is that taxes are. . . supervisory work. ”
Cairn also said he was involved in the Indian tax laws. And he said Air India was legally independent which “had no obligation to pay any money under the Cairn arbitral award or any other matter which he allegedly owed to India”.
Cairn said he had “complete confidence” in his opinion.
Lawyers say the next step would be for India to register in New York to “not stand” in the Air India case pending a court hearing in The Hague.
The tax war has severely affected Cairn, whose shares were over 8 pounds in 2012 when repatriation laws in India were enacted but now sell for about 165p, although the commodity has also been affected by factors such as the 2014 and 2020 oil price crashes.
Aside from job cuts and the sale of goods in the early years of the conflict, observers say uncertainty over the pay cut prevents Cairn from competing financially. Growth is critical for independent oil and gas companies that are not manufactured by similar markets.
“Everyone knows that [London-listed] Harbor Energy and Energean are as follows [larger independent oil and gas companies] they will be successful because they are old enough to take care of investors, ”says Nathan Piper, a researcher at Investec.
Cairn “has been trying to improve the business since 2015. but has not been able to do so due to uncertainty or if you have $ 1bn”.
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