Not to buy Cairn Energy's stake in India arm as of now:Vedanta

Not to buy Cairn Energy's stake in India arm as of now:Vedanta

Vedanta Resources today said it does not intend to acquire Cairn Energy's over 10 per cent stake in Cairn India immediately, but will look at it sometime in the future.

"We have no talks but in future we will look at it. We are open for that but we are not talking at the moment," Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal told reporters here after delivering a lecture in local Shri Ram College of Commerce.

He did not give any timeline for the buyout.

The London-listed mining conglomerate had acquired a majority stake of 58.5 per cent stake in Cairn India for USD 8.67 billion in December 2011. The deal was delayed by about 16 months from the original announcement of August 2010.

Vedanta currently holds 58.76 per cent stake in Cairn India through subsidiary firms Sesa Goa and Twin Star Mauritius Holdings Ltd, while Cairn Energy Plc has 10.27 per cent stake. The rest is held by institutional and minority shareholders.

The value of UK-based company's stake at present is over Rs 6,300 crore at today's closing price of Rs 324.15 a share of Cairn India on the BSE.

Talking about Cairn India's plans, Agarwal said it will spend USD 3 billion on its expansion, particularly increasing the capacity of Barmer oil block in Rajasthan.

He also said that the government needs to simplify the processes of taking regulatory approvals to increase country's crude oil production.

"We believe in this government, we believe in India and there is no question on that but things, small hitches... I hope they simplify the processes... Rs 7,000 crore has been imposed on us. You have to pay cess and royalty. Never ever India has banned the contractual agreement," the Vedanta chairman said.

He was referring to government conditions for approving Cairn India acquisition. The conditions included Cairn India paying the royalty from Rajasthan oil fields and withdrawing the arbitration case against the government over levying of cess on oil production from the Rajasthan block.

Moreover, Cairn India is also looking to participate in the upcoming 10th round of new exploration licensing policy (NELP), Agarwal said, adding that it should be announced as soon as possible. 

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