MUMBAI: Metals and mining magnate Anil Agarwal will see his stake in flagship Vedanta increase to 65.2% from the existing 55.1%, if he accepts all the shares tendered by minority shareholders in the open offer that closed on Wednesday.
The 67-year-old Agarwal had offered to buy 17.5% of Vedanta from public shareholders in what was his latest attempt to tighten his grip over the India-listed entity. Minority shareholders tendered 37.4 crore Vedanta shares as against the 65.1 crore Agarwal had offered to purchase, stock exchange data revealed.
The 65.2% stake in Vedanta will take Agarwal’s total promoter shareholding closer to 90%, a threshold he requires to take the company private. India’s capital market rules state that a promoter can delist the company from the stock exchanges if s/he acquires 90% of the total equity capital.
Last October, Agarwal had attempted to take Vedanta private but minority investors spoiled his plans. LIC, the largest non-promoter shareholder of Vedanta, quoted a price of Rs 320 apiece as against Agarwal’s indicative delisting price of Rs 87.5. LIC’s quote subsequently became the discovered price for the delisting process, impacting Agarwal’s plans.
Agarwal, ranked 47 in Forbes’ India rich list, then came out with an open offer to acquire up to 10% of Vedanta from public shareholders at Rs 160 apiece. He later sweetened the scheme by offering to acquire 17.5% of Vedanta at Rs 235 a share.
In October 2018, Agarwal had delisted Vedanta Resources from the London Stock Exchange. The open offer for the Indian company was made by Vedanta Resources. Agarwal, according to Bloomberg News, wants to access Vedanta’s cash to retire his $7-billion debt housed in a private holding company.