The merger is aimed at creating a mega Indian natural resources firm on the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Vedanta had said while announcing the simplification exercise. (The merger is aimed at creating a mega Indian natural resources firm on the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Vedanta had said while announcing the simplification exercise.)
The merger is aimed at creating a mega Indian natural resources firm on the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Vedanta had said while announcing the simplification exercise.
(The merger is aimed at creating a mega Indian natural resources firm on the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Vedanta had said while announcing the simplification exercise.)

Vedanta hopes to complete Sesa Goa, Sterlite merger in a month

The firm expecting announcement of Bombay HC division bench order on merger in next two weeks

New Delhi: After securing approval of the Madras high court, Vedanta Resources is now hoping to complete the much-delayed merger of Sesa Goa and Sterlite Industries within a month after getting a favourable verdict from the Bombay high court as well, a senior company official said.

The merger was first announced in February 2012, and now final hurdle is to be crossed as a Sesa Goa shareholder has challenged the order of the Goa bench of the Bombay high court approving exercise before division bench of the same court. Hearings at the division bench has already been completed and the company is expecting announcement of the court order in next two weeks, the Vedanta official said.

The company is hopeful of completing the merger process within one or two weeks of the court order. “Hearings are already over, just the order has to be announced, which we expect in the next one or two weeks (and in our favour). Thereafter, the scheme can be implemented because now we have the order from Madras high court. “

“Once court process is over, within a week or so, we will be announcing a record date and completing the share swap as well," he said.

As per the group simplification exercise, Vedanta’s two leading subsidiaries, Sesa Goa and Sterlite Industries, would merge to create a new entity, Sesa Sterlite. Accordingly, Vedanta will become the holding company of Sesa Sterlite, with 58.3% stake, and Konkola Copper. All other group entities will get controlled by Sesa Sterlite.

Except Bombay high court at Goa, the merger scheme has been approved by all other regulatory authorities, including FIPB, the Competition Commission of India, BSE and NSE.

Shareholders and creditors of Sterlite and Sesa Goa have already given their approval in June, 2012. The merger is aimed at creating a mega Indian natural resources firm on the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Vedanta had said while announcing the simplification exercise. Sesa Sterlite, after creation, will have total assets worth $36 billion ( 1,95,000 crore), net income of $1.9 billion ( 10,000 crore) and cash and liquid investments of $7.7 billion ( 42,000 crore). However, it will also inherit nearly 87% of Vedanta’s debt, which was $16.593 billion as on March, 2013, as loans taken to fund Cairn India acquisition would get transferred to Sesa Sterlite.

Accordingly, Sesa Sterlite will have a debt of $14.399 billion. It will result in 1,000 crore cost saving for Vedanta a year as its debt servicing cost would go down significantly. As per the scheme of arrangements, Sterlite shareholders would get three shares of Sesa Goa for every five shares held according to the swap ratio. Cairn India, Hindustan Zinc, Balco, Vedanta Aluminium, Madras Aluminium, Western Clusters in Liberia, Talwandi Sabo Power and Australian Copper Mines will become subsidiaries of Sesa Sterlite after the restructuring.

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