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Vedanta’s sale of $1 billion oil unit stake stalls

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By Baiju Kalesh and Dinesh Nair

Vedanta Ltd.’s plans to sell a minority stake in its Indian oil unit have stalled after a collapse in crude prices, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Mumbai-listed company, backed by tycoon Anil Agarwal, was seeking to raise more than $1 billion by selling at least 20% of its Cairn Oil & Gas business, the people said. The crash in energy prices and the Covid-19 pandemic have made it difficult for potential investors to gauge Cairn’s business outlook, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

While the stake sale talks could resume when oil prices stabilize, Vedanta may also explore other fundraising options to reduce its debt, the people said.

A representative for the firm’s London-based holding company, Vedanta Resources Ltd., declined to comment on the status of the sale plans. The group is “well positioned” with sufficient liquidity to manage any temporary supply chain disruptions, the representative said.

Cairn is the country’s biggest private oil and gas producer, contributing about 25% of the nation’s domestic crude oil production, according to its website. It has interests in 58 blocks in India.



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