Shareholders may vote on merger with Cairn by Dec: Vedanta CEO

Mining baron Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd expects to seek shareholders' approval for the proposed merger of the mining arm with Cairn India by December this year.

New Delhi: Mining baron Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd expects to seek shareholders' approval for the proposed merger of the mining arm with Cairn India by December this year.

The company, which is saddled with over Rs 79,500 crore in gross debt, has proposed to absorb its subsidiary Cairn India in an all-share deal that is being seen as an attempt to use the oil producer's cash to pay off its loans.

"We continue to work through the various regulatory and exchange approval processes and we continue to expect that we will see it for shareholder vote by fourth calendar quarter (October-December) of this year," Vedanta Ltd CEO Tom Albanese said in a conference call after announcing the firm's results for the June quarter.

At the end of the quarter, Vedanta said its gross debt rose Rs 1,778 crore to Rs 79,530 crore due to funding project payments and temporary working capital requirements, but added that "debt levels are expected to reduce as working capital is repaid in Q2 of 2015-16".

Earlier this month, he told PTI that the merger deal will benefit shareholders of both the companies.

"This is a significant milestone in the company's journey. Not only this merger will de-risk earnings through increased diversification from exposure to a larger commodity mix, but also it will help garner benefits of increased economies of scale.

"You will get access to Vedanta's tier-one metals and mining assets, which are well-invested, low cost and have a long life," he told shareholders, who have to vote for the merger deal shortly.

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