New Delhi: Billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources Plc. said on Sunday it will not offer more than the already announced $1.87 billion (around Rs91,069 crore) to buy bankrupt American miner Asarco Llc. but is confident that it can clinch the deal with the support of the US government and the trade unions.
“We will not increase our bid in any circumstances. We believe we are well placed. The US government is with us, the trade union is with us,” Agarwal said in an telephone interview.
Vedanta Resources’ flagship firm Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd had last month raised its bid for Asarco by $170 million to $1.87 billion even as Grupo Mexico SA has offered $3.1 billion to regain control of the ailing mining firm.
Final price: Asarco Llc.’s metals production plant outside Denver, Colorado. Vedanta Resources had last month raised its bid for Asarco by $170 million to $1.87 billion. Matt Staver / Bloomberg
If the Asarco bid is lost, Agarwal said, he will look for other opportunities. “At any point if someone takes Asarco at a higher price we will not regret it,” he added.
US-based fund house Harbinger Capital Partners is also in the race for Asarco with its $500 million plan.
The interim management of Asarco in March authorized Sterlite to match the competing bid and also gave the Vedanta firm the right to claim break-up fees if its offer falls through. Sterlite had on Thursday raised around Rs7,000 crore from the US market, part of which will be used to fund acquisitions.
Sterlite, which has been negotiating the Asarco deal since last year, had initially offered $2.6 billion for buying the assets of the company. However, with the devaluation of mining assets and falling copper prices amid the global economic downturn, Sterlite lowered its bid to $2.1 billion last year and then further to $1.7 billion before increasing it to $1.87 billion.
Asarco had filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005 after being sued for $1 billion over environmental issues.