Investment in India

Cairn retains a ~10% investment in Cairn India Limited which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India. Cairn India has interests in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.


Cairn operated in India from 1996 - 2011. In 2007 Cairn listed the Indian business, Cairn India Limited (CIL), on the National and Bombay Stock Exchanges raising US$2 billion and retaining a 69% holding.

In 2011 Cairn sold 40% of its holding in CIL to Vedanta Resources plc, a global natural resources company, for approximately US$5.5 billion, retaining a 22% holding. In 2012 Cairn sold an aggregate 11.5% holding in CIL for a net cash consideration of ~US$1.3bn, retaining a ~10% shareholding.

In January 2014, Cairn received notice from the Income Tax Department of India citing 2012 Retrospective Legislation and requesting information relating to the group reorganisation in 2006. The Income Tax Department attached the company’s remaining 10% shareholding in CIL, then valued at approximately US$1 billion.

In March 2015 Cairn instructed counsel to file a Notice of Dispute under the UK-India Investment Treaty in order to protect its legal position and shareholder interests having received a draft assessment order from the Indian Income Tax Department on 15 March 2015. 

International Arbitration proceedings have commenced to settle the dispute with Cairn claiming full compensation for the value of which shareholders have been deprived. Cairn continues to be restricted by the Indian Income Tax Department from selling its 10% shareholding in CIL.