Anil Agarwal all set to take Vedanta Resources private
04 September 2018
Vedanta Resources’ chairman Anil Agarwal is all set to take the London-listed miner private by 1 October, as promised, as his family’s Volcan Investments trust, which holds about two thirds of the group’s shares, has received acceptance from over 92 per cent of its shareholders.
The announcement by the family trust on Monday is seen as a step as a prelude to a potentially broader deal with bigger miner Anglo American.
The Volcan Investments trust, which held about two thirds of Vedanta’s London-listed arm before it announced a roughly $1 billion buyout offer in July, said holders of 26 percent of shares had agreed to sell.
Volcan is now reported to hold or has received acceptances for 92.31 per cent of Vedanta’s shares. The offer would remain open for acceptances from shareholders until further notice.
Agarwal has said he wanted to buy out the London listing, which is dwarfed by Vedanta’s Indian operation, to simplify the company’s structure. Analysts and fund managers have said the move could also reduce the scrutiny the company has received as a result of leaks and fatalities.
Industry players have speculated too that Agarwal, who holds almost 20 percent of Anglo American, wants some form of tie-up with the global miner, and they see the move on Vedanta Resources as a step to creating a more sellable group.
Reports had earlier said of Vedanta taking over Anglo American after Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, formerly head of Johannesberg-listed AngloGold Ashanti, took over as CEO of Vedanta Resources.
Agarwal, who is Anglo American’s biggest shareholder through his family trust, has played down speculation he is seeking a tie-up with Anglo.
However, he has indicated that he wants to grow Vedanta into a major diversified player.
Volcan had been expected to face some shareholder resistance to the buyout.
Vedanta has copper mines in Zambia while Vedanta Zinc has operations in South Africa and Namibia. A tie-up with Anglo American would give Vedanta access to diamonds, copper, platinum, coal, iron ore, nickel and manganese markets.