Nokia says Indian plant unlikely to be part of Microsoft deal

Nokia has said that due to their ongoing tax dispute, their Indian mobile handset plant was unlikely to be included in a deal due to be finalised on Friday for the sale of its global handset business to Microsoft.

Instead, Nokia will operate the factory as a contract manufacturing unit for Microsoft after the deal has been concluded, a spokeswoman for the Finnish company’s Indian unit said on Thursday.

“It’s highly unlikely that the plant will transfer, given that the (deal) closing with Microsoft is tomorrow,” the spokeswoman said. “If the asset doesn’t get transferred, we are entering into a service agreement with Microsoft.”

Nokia has yet to agree to conditions set by an Indian court, of which includes payment of a guarantee for potential tax dues in a dispute with the Indian authorities. The plant, which Nokia says employs about 6,600 employees, is one of its biggest factories globally.

Nokia’s lawyers have previously told the Delhi High Court that the company can run the plant as a contract manufacturer if it is not allowed to be transferred to Microsoft, but not for more than 12 months after closing their 5.4 billion euros ($7.5 billion) global deal

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