Cairn $6.5 billion stake sale to Vedanta finally cleared

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Message Mer 7 Déc 2011 14:58

Cairn $6.5 billion stake sale to Vedanta finally cleared

7 Dec, 2011, 05.26PM IST, AP

MUMBAI: India has given final approval for Cairn Energy's $6.5 billion sale of a majority stake in its Indian assets to Vedanta Resources, the company said.

The long-delayed deal has served as a reminder of just what many foreign investors don't like about India. Over 15 months of negotiations resulted in a punishing contractual change over royalty payments.

``Vedanta has confirmed that it has now satisfied the conditions under the Sale and Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of a controlling shareholding in Cairn India,'' Cairn India said in a filing to Indian stock exchanges Wednesday.

Vedanta is paying $6.5 billion for 58 per cent stake in Cairn India. The London-listed parent company, Cairn Energy Plc, will retain a 22 per cent stake.

The companies announced the sale back in August 2010, but wrangling over royalties and government approvals threatened to sink the deal in India's notorious bureaucracy.

To win government approval, the companies agreed to alter their production sharing contract.

Under the original contract, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. bore full responsibility for royalty payments from a key field in the north Indian state of Rajasthan, even though its ownership of the field was just 30 per cent. Those generous terms were negotiated back when investor interest in the unproven oil and gas assets of the Rajasthani desert was scant and the government was eager to attract foreign capital and expertise.

Royalties will now be split, with Cairn India paying 70 per cent and ONGC paying 30 per cent.

Cairn India also agreed to make a payment for back royalties of $545 million.

Analysts said privately that such a contractual change was unprecedented and would have been difficult for the government to extract if it hadn't been linked to the deal approval.

Company officials said that Vedanta has received a security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs and a certificate of no objection from ONGC, which were the final two procedural hurdles.

The deal gives mining giant Vedanta exposure to its first oil and gas assets, while freeing up cash for Cairn Energy, whose push on Greenland exploration has yet to bear fruit.

``It is in the interests of Cairn and the country to get the deal done with and move ahead with increasing production from the block,'' said Bhaskar Chakraborty, an oil and gas analyst at IIFL Capital in Mumbai.

That, too, will require a government approval.

Cairn India has said it can ramp up production to 240,000 barrels per day from 125,000 barrels per day.

``Our policies have been designed to attract international companies,'' petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy said at a conference in Qatar this week. ``The recently formed consortia such as Reliance-BP and Vedanta-Cairn are telling examples of investment in India. We are yearning for many such ventures.''

India has been at pains to bolster flagging investment, which helped drive growth to a two-year low of 6.9 per cent in the September quarter. It is also trying to attract more foreign investment to help reverse a punishing spiral in the value of the rupee, which recently hit a lifetime low.

The stock rose 2.6 per cent in early trade in Mumbai before closing flat.
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Message Mer 7 Déc 2011 14:59

India's Sesa Goa says buys 1.5 pct more in Cairn India

Wed Dec 7, 2011 12:48pm GMT

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Dec 7 (Reuters) - India's Sesa Goa Ltd, owned by miner Vedanta Resources, said on Wednesday it has bought an additional 1.5 percent stake in Cairn India Ltd at an average price of 325 rupees a share through a stock market deal.

Sesa Goa said the firm and a unit bought the shares from Cairn UK Holdings Ltd through a block deal on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

After the deal, Sesa Goa holds 20 percent of Cairn India, it said in a statement.

Vedanta is buying a majority stake in Cairn India from British oil firm Cairn Energy in a $6 billion deal.
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Message Jeu 8 Déc 2011 09:45

Cairn finalise la vente d'une part de sa branche en Inde à V

Cairn finalise la vente d'une part de sa branche en Inde à Vedanta

BOMBAY - Le groupe écossais Cairn Energy a annoncé avoir finalisé la vente d'une part majoritaire de Cairn India au groupe minier Vedanta Resources, après de longues négociations liées au versement de redevances.

Le groupe a indiqué dans un communiqué adressé à la Bourse de Bombay mercredi que Vedanta a confirmé qu'il est désormais satisfait des conditions liées à la prise de participation majoritaire dans Cairn India.

Cairn conservera désormais environ 22% dans Cairn India, a ajouté le groupe.

Le gouvernement indien avait donné son feu vert conditionnel en juin dernier à la vente pour plus de 9 milliards de dollars d'une part majoritaire de la filiale en Inde de l'écossais au groupe minier, l'un des plus importantes acquisitions jamais réalisées en Inde.

La condition était que Cairn accepte de payer une partie des redevances à l'Etat indien pour l'exploitation des gisements pétroliers du bloc du Rajasthan, ainsi que des taxes sur le pétrole brut extrait de ces gisements.

Cairn India, quatrième compagnie pétrolière et gazière du pays en importance, possède 70% du champ de Mangala, communément appelé le bloc de Rajasthan. Jusqu'à présent, les redevances pour l'exploitation de ce gisement étaient entièrement à la charge du partenaire public indien de Cairn, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), qui possède 30% des parts.

Vedanta, groupe coté à Londres et contrôlé par le milliardaire d'origine indienne Anil Agarwal, avait annoncé en août 2010 qu'il voulait racheter jusqu'à 60% de Cairn India pour étoffer son portefeuille d'actifs en Inde. Mais la transaction était bloquée à cause du différend sur les redevances.

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