Cairn Says Has Won Order to Freeze India State Assets in Paris

The Eiffel Tower monument and residential and commercial property stand on the banks of the River Seine . (Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg)

Cairn Says Has Won Order to Freeze India State Assets in Paris

Cairn Energy Plc is closer to seizing Indian state-owned properties in Paris, part of the company’s attempt to recover a $1.2 billion arbitration award it won last year.

A French court froze residential real estate belonging to the Indian government, Cairn said in a statement Thursday. The order affects 20 properties valued at more than 20 million euros ($24 million), it said.

“This is the necessary preparatory step to taking ownership of the properties and ensures that the proceeds of any sales would be due to Cairn,” Cairn said. It added that its “strong preference remains an agreed, amicable settlement.”

India has not received communication from any French court, a government official told reporters, asking not to be identified citing rules on speaking with the media. The government is trying to ascertain facts and would take appropriate legal remedies whenever such a notice is received, the official said, adding that India would vigorously defend its case in the proceedings at The Hague.

Cairn has previously said it has identified overseas assets owned by India’s state-owned firms for potential seizure. Last month, Cairn filed a petition asking a court in New York to deem flag carrier Air India as “the alter ego of India” and responsible for the sovereign’s debts.

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