Vedanta looking at majority stake in Cairn India

Anil AgarwalVedanta Resources, the India-focused mining major is looking to acquire a majority stake in Cairn India and is in discussions with its UK parent Cairn Energy PLC, sources citing company officials said.

The two companies have also confirmed that they are in discussions about the possible sale of part of Cairn Energy's stake in its Indian operation to the Anil Agrawal-led Vedanta Resources Inc.

Cairn Energy PLC, which owns a 62.37 per cent interest in Cairn India, may not exit its India operations, Rahul Dhir, chief executive of Cairn India Ltd, told reporters in New Delhi today.
Dhir, however, said Vedanta was the only company currently in talks with Cairn.

"What was presented is that they are selling a stake, but I do know they remain supporters of our business," Dhir said. "If a new strategic shareholder is coming, it is only underscoring the belief and the faith they have in the business," he added.

The board of Cairn Energy PLC also clarified that while discussions are taking place with Vedanta Resources plc in respect of the disposal of an interest in Cairn India Limited, there was no certainty as to the terms, extent or time of the proposed disposal.

Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy PLC is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.