Billionaire Agarwal Pledges Stake to Sweeten Deal For India Unit

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.

London-based Vedanta Resources Ltd. will now seek to buy 17.51% of Mumbai-listed Vedanta Ltd. at 235 rupees ($3.24) a share, it said in an exchange filing Tuesday. That’s up from the previous 10% at 160 rupees apiece. Vedanta Resources’s existing 55% holding in Vedanta Ltd. 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 226.5 rupees closing price and a successful transaction will take Agarwal closer to full control of Vedanta Ltd. 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 Ltd.’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 153 billion rupees versus 59.48 billion rupees expected in the January offer.

The offer runs March 23 to April 7, the company said in the statement.

Citicorp International Ltd., 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.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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