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 in respect of Cairn's claim under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty. Cairn is seeking restitution for losses resulting from the attachment of its shares in CIL and failure to treat Cairn and its investments fairly and equitably. Cairn remains unable to access the value of its ~10% residual shareholding in Cairn India Limited (CIL) valued at US$383m at 30 June 2016 or accrued dividends with a value of US$50m.

International arbitration proceedings are progressing with the main Statement of Claim and the Statement of Defence now submitted.

In 2017 Cairn received confirmation via the international arbitration that dividends of US$51m due from Cairn India Limited (CIL) are no longer restricted. Cairn has requested the immediate release of the sum from CIL.