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Vedanta Group not to hike Cairn India offer price

Mumbai, Oct 12 (Calcutta Tube) International metals major Vedanta Group Monday said it would not hike the price of the open offer to minority shareholders of oil producer Cairn India in which it is seeking to acquire a majority stake.

‘There is no question…The price is final and it is a very lucrative offer,’ Chairman Anil Agarwal told reporters here.

Vedanta is offering Rs.355 per share to minority shareholders for about 20 percent of Cairn India and is being carried out by the group’s Indian subsidiary Sesa Goa.

The offer is part of an up to $9.6 billion deal under which the Agarwal-led group will acquire 51-60 percent of the oil producer from its parent company Cairn Energy.

However, the open offer for minority shareholders is Rs.50 less than what Vedanta is offering to Cairn Energy at Rs.405. This price includes a non-compete fee of Rs.50.

‘The non-compete fee is very important because we do not want Cairn Energy to work in our areas,’ said Agarwal.

The offer from Sesa Goa was to open Monday but has been delayed as the market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has not given its nod for the deal.

Agarwal said SEBI had asked some routine queries to the Group which it was replying to. He expected an approval to come in the next few days.

The government too has to give its approval if the deal is to go through. Cairn India’s Barmer fields in Rajasthan with a capacity to produce 125,000 barrels of oil per day, account for about 17 percent of India’s total domestic crude output.

At the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Cairn India scrip rose 5.35 percent to an intra-day high of Rs.355.90, while Sesa Goa’s stock climbed 3.16 percent to the intra-day high of Rs.361.60.

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