Anil Agarwal, billionaire founder of the Vedanta Group, has pledged his stake in a cash-rich Indian unit to help sweeten terms for a takeover attempt that’s key to his debt-repayment plans. The London-based Vedanta Resources will now seek to buy 17.51 per cent of Mumbai-listed Vedanta at Rs 235 ($3.24) a share, it said in an exchange filing Tuesday. That’s up from the previous 10 per cent at Rs 160 apiece.
Vedanta Resources’ existing 55 per cent holding in Vedanta is placed as collateral under conditions of a dollar bond sale this month that will go toward partly funding the open offer.
The revised offer represents a small premium to Tuesday’s Rs 226.5 closing price and a successful transaction will take Agarwal closer to full control of Vedanta. Shareholders had already rejected one takeover bid by Agarwal, whose personal holding company has amassed about $7 billion of debt that could be pared with the help of Vedanta’s cash-rich balance sheet.
If Vedanta were to accept bids for the entire 651 million shares, the consideration for the deal would be about Rs 153 billion versus Rs 59.48 billion expected in the January offer.
The offer runs March 23 to April 7, the company said in the statement.
Citicorp International , acting as trustee for the holders of the dollar bonds, placed restrictions on Vedanta Resources’s shareholding of the Indian unit, according to a separate exchange filing.