Indian authorities chase tax bill from UK brewer

INDIAN AUTHORITIES have demanded $39.5m in tax owed from a London listed brewery company.

SABMiller has been hit with the bill following its 2006 acquisition of Indian assets from the Australian brewers Foster’s, which was worth $120m.

This is the latest example of India seeking retrospective tax on deals done outside the country by foreign companies, the Financial Times reports. The revenue authority had previously been involved in a dispute with Vodafone over its 2007 purchase of Hong Kong-listed Hutchinson’s assets in India.

SABMiller has said that the responsibility for any claims lay with Foster’s. “The Indians have sent us a final demand for payment. We’ve been very open about it,” it said.

Foster’s said it was “confident of the positions that were taken in relation to Indian tax. Those positions will be defended vigorously in the Indian Courts.”

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