Cairn sells 3.5% stake in India unit

UK’s Cairn Energy, which had last year sold majority stake in its Indian unit to mining group Vedanta, on Friday sold 3.5 per cent for over Rs 2,000 crore in an open market deal.

It had 21.8 per cent stake in Cairn India before Friday’s deal. Cairn Energy sold 6.67 crore shares, or 3.5 per cent of the Indian company’s equity, for about $360 million (over Rs 2,000 crore), the company said in a press statement.

The Edinburgh-based firm had in the run up to seeking government approvals for selling 40 per cent of its stake in Cairn India to Vedanta claimed that it will retain about 22 per cent interest in the company to give it “the strength and flexibility to explore new opportunities for delivering transformational growth”.

But in less than a year from receiving all approvals, the company has decided to sell off all its shareholding in Cairn India and exit the country. Cairn Energy said it “has reached an agreement with Citi to complete an on-market sale of a total of 66,758,864 shares in Cairn India, representing approximately a 3.5 per cent shareholding in Cairn India”. Following the sale, Cairn Energy retains an about 18.3 per cent shareholding in Cairn India.

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