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India's Anil Agarwal succeeds with Vedanta Resources buyout
* Volcan gets valid acceptance for 92.31 pct of Vedanta's
* Vedanta's new CEO takes over
* Vedanta waits to hear if Indian copper smelter can be
(Adds Anglo American deal speculation, details on new CEO,
By Noor Zainab Hussain
Sept 3 (Reuters) - Vedanta Resources' Chairman Anil
Agarwal will take the London-listed miner private on Oct. 1, his
family trust said on Monday, a step seen by some in the industry
as a prelude to a potentially broader deal with bigger miner
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 now holds or has received acceptances for 92.31
percent of Vedanta's shares, it said https://bit.ly/2wAdTMA,
adding 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.
Indian newspaper Mint reported in early July that Agarwal
was seeking to merge Vedanta with Anglo's South African unit and
Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, formerly head of Johannesberg-listed
AngloGold Ashanti has just taken over as CEO of Vedanta
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's international operations are copper mines in
Zambia and Vedanta Zinc, with operations in South Africa and
Namibia. A tie-up with Anglo American would give the Indian firm
access to diamonds, copper, platinum, coal, iron ore, nickel and
The appointment of Venkat, who worked with AngloGold for 18
years and led it for five, follows a bounce in metals prices
that has prompted Vedanta to expand zinc and aluminium output,
bolstering a recovery from the commodities price slump that
ended in 2016.
The first Indian company to list in London in 2003 in a 500
million pound ($644 million) offering, Vedanta is also waiting
to hear from a judicial committee on whether it can reopen a
copper smelter in southern India that was shut by authorities
after violent protests in which 13 were killed.
($1 = 0.7763 pounds)
(Additional reporting by Barbara Lewis in London; Editing by
Patrick Graham and Mark Potter)
First Published: 2018-09-03 09:04:44
Updated 2018-09-03 12:06:27
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