Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) is ready to pay at least 355 million euros ($487 million) to India’s tax authorities to enable the transfer of a factory in the country to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), according to two people familiar with the matter.
Nokia is willing to pay at least 270 million euros on top of an already announced amount of 85 million euros if India’s government allows the transfer of assets including the manufacturing plant in Chennai, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the offer isn’t public.
The assets were frozen by India in September because of a tax dispute. Earlier that month, Nokia agreed to sell its mobile-phone business to Microsoft in a 5.44 billion-euro transaction to focus on network-equipment manufacturing. Nokia might need to find a new buyer for the assets, which are part of the handset unit, unless it can start the transfer this week, the people said.
In an e-mailed statement, Nokia said it’s committed to getting its assets unfrozen and called on India’s government and tax authority to work with urgency toward a solution.
The Delhi High Court will rule on the status of Nokia’s assets at a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.