Nokia’s Chennai plant, which has been embroiled in a tax dispute with Indian tax authorities, could soon get a new lease of life. According to the Economic Times, Indian smartphone vendor Lava is looking at the possibility of buying the Chennai manufacturing plant. Also Read - Nokia Clarity, Comfort, Micro, Go Earbuds Series with ANC launched: Price, features
There are hardly any details available about the deal since the two companies have signed a nondisclosure agreement. But a person familiar with the deal told the publication, “Lava’s manufacturing team has already visited the plant and has done the assessment. It will make a proposal to Nokia mid-December after taking all aspects into consideration. The tax issue needs to be sorted out before a final deal is sealed though.” Also Read - Nokia C30 budget phone launched with price under Rs 10,000: Check specs, price
The tax issue mentioned above was the primary reason why Nokia was not allowed to transfer the Chennai plant to Microsoft as a part of the $7.2 billion deal. After the court order, the factory is not in use, and despite several protests from worker unions, the factory workers are currently out of jobs. Also Read - Nokia XR20 rugged 5G phone launched: Check specs, price, India launch details
Lava, which is the third-largest smartphone vendor in India according to the latest IDC reports, has been looking at manufacturing its devices in India owing to growing labor costs in China. It is also said to be ready to spend Rs 500 crore in local manufacturing operations over three years. By buying the plant, Lava will not only get hold of the world’s largest mobile manufacturing plant, but also be generating thousands of jobs.
The publication further mentions that Lava isn’t the only company Nokia has approached to take the Chennai plant out of its hands. It is open to leasing the factory out to contract manufacturers, and had recently approached companies like Celkon and Vivo among others, Lava however looks like the most likely to buy the factory.
As mentioned above, Lava is now the third-largest smartphone vendor in India according to the latest IDC report. As far as the smartphone market is concerned, it controls an eight percent market share, but as far as the overall mobile market is concerned, it controls a 10 percent market share.