KAMPALA, April 4 (Reuters) - Uganda has won a tax dispute against Jersey-based Heritage Oil at an arbitration hearing in London, a senior Ugandan official said on Thursday, in a row that has delayed commercial production of oil in the east African country.
Uganda said Heritage was liable for a capital gains tax payment of $434 million from the sale of its Ugandan assets to British explorer Tullow Oil in a $1.45 billion deal in 2010. Heritage had argued in a previous legal case heard in Uganda, which it lost, that no tax was due from the deal.
Shares in Heritage Oil fell as much as 11 percent in early trading on Thursday before clawing back some of the drop to trade at 167 pence at 0758 GMT, down 6.5 percent.
Heritage declined to comment immediately.
'On the core question of the taxability of Heritage's transaction with Tullow, the tribunal in London ruled yesterday (Wednesday) that that had already been settled by the tax appeals tribunal here in Uganda and it was satisfied with that ruling,' Ali Ssekatawa, Assistant Commissioner for litigation at the Uganda Revenue Authority, told Reuters.
'The case's core issue ... was the taxability of the transaction and we're excited that we won that,' Ssekatawa said.
Heritage is embroiled in a separate legal dispute with Tullow, which paid the Ugandan authorities most of the disputed tax and is now seeking reimbursement from Heritage.
(Reporting By Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Tom Pfeiffer) Keywords: UGANDA OIL/
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