Vedanta says committed to India after failed delisting

Shrugging off a failed bid to get its Indian flagship firm delisted from stock exchanges, mining baron Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Resources on Tuesday said it is committed to investing in the country that offers unparalleled opportunities and growth.

Last week, Vedanta Ltd's delisting went from almost-a-success to failure due to a large number of unconfirmed orders.

The BSE on October 9 evening showed 137.74 crore shares, out of a total 169.73 crore shares held by the public, to have been offered for sale to promoters, larger than the threshold of 134.12 crore.

Some bids, however, were pending confirmation from custodians.

Reconciliation of data led to the number of shares offered for sale being trimmed to 125.47 crore.

"Launching the delisting bid to garner approx 134 crore shares was indeed a mammoth task. We saw enthusiastic participation by our shareholders that took us within striking distance of our goal, short by only 7 per cent," Vedanta Resources, the parent firm of Vedanta Ltd, said in a statement.

The delisting bid, it said, "has not been successful." "The bid would have resulted in FDI inflow of over USD 3.15 billion into the Indian economy and helped boost growth between 0.4 per cent and 0.8 per cent through the multiplier impact of such large infusion of funds," the firm said.

The reverse book building process for public shareholders to tender their shares, which began on October 5, had concluded on October 9.

For successful delisting of the shares, 134.12 crore shares needed to have been validly tendered for the promoter shareholding to cross the 90 per cent shareholding threshold as per regulations.

Vedanta had tied up USD 3.15 billion in loans to finance the buying of shares but returned the money to lenders no sooner had the delisting bid failed.

"We wish to reiterate our unflinching commitment to India particularly in the natural resources sector. We are confident that Vedanta Ltd will continue to grow from strength to strength as a listed entity on the Indian stock exchanges," Vedanta Resources said.

Vedanta is the third company to make unsuccessful delisting efforts in the last two years after INEOS Styrolution and Linde India.

LIC, which held 6.37 per cent in Vedanta, submitted all its shares at a price of Rs 320, a 267 per cent premium over the floor price of Rs 87.25, upsetting Vedanta's calculations.

The LIC bid price was the discovered price for the reverse book building process. Many other investors too bid at Rs 320 but a lot of bids were also submitted at Rs 150-160 per share.

"Vedanta looks forward to unparalleled opportunities and growth in India. The company is committed to fulfilling the goal of Aatmanirbharta in the natural resources sector," the firm said.

It expressed gratitude and thanks to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), BSE, shareholders, financing banks and advisors to the delisting offer for their unstinted support during the entire exercise.

The number of fully paid equity shares in Vedanta, excluding American Depositary Shares (ADS), is 356.10 crore. 90 per cent shares are required to delist the firm, which comes to 320.49 crore.

Promoters already have 186.36 crore shares, and they needed an additional 134.12 crore out of the public shareholding of 169.73 crore.

Bankers and promoters had on Friday approached market regulator Sebi for a day's extension as retail shareholders faced technical glitches and were unable to submit their bids. But the request wasn't granted.

In May, the promoters of Vedanta had announced the delisting offer at Rs 87.5 per share.

Later in June, in a special resolution by postal ballot, 93.3 per cent of all shareholders and 84.3 per cent of public shareholders approved the delisting of shares of Vedanta.

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