Sesa-Sterlite have cash to repay debt in 3 years: Agarwal

Allaying concerns that Vedanta Resources is transferring huge debt to Sesa Sterlite, group Chairman Anil Agarwal today said the new entity with "amazing assets" will generate annual profit of USD 7-8 billion and be able to repay loans within three years.

"We(Sesa-Sterlite) have a debt of USD 7 billion whereas the assets are amazing...the new entity with five businesses will generate profits of USD 7-8 billion every year," Agarwal told PTI in an interview.

He said top Vedanta management has held a series of meetings with minority and institutional investors to take them on board deal, involving restructuring of the metal and mining group. The revamp includes merger of Sterlite Industries with Sesa Goa.

"We are constantly in touch with our shareholders. They fully understand the developments and appreciate ...We are in talks with Franklin Resources(which has 12.21 per cent stake in Sesa Goa). They are getting aligned with us.

"They were apprehending risk factor and the exposure they had in iron ore...they are now fully assured that there are no risk factors. There was no objection from Franklin at all", Vedanta Group head said, adding, "Sesa-Sterlite would be able to repay debt in three years".

Agarwal,57, who runs his USD 70 billion business empire from Vedanta's London headquarters, however, said the debts are long-term and the group would need big cash for its further expansion.

After announcement of the group's restructuring on February 25, initial signals pointed towards investors' concerns on multi-billion Vedanta debt being passed on to Sesa-Sterlite.

The debt included USD 5.9 billion loans for acquiring oil and gas producer Cain India and investments in loss-making Vedanta Aluminium.

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