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Vedanta Ltd. is preparing to list a number of its key businesses in a broad restructuring effort that, if successful, could help tycoon Anil Agarwal reduce a multibillion dollar debt load, people familiar with the matter said.
The company has informed its lenders of the intended shake-up and could announce the plans in the coming days, according to the people. Businesses including aluminum, oil and gas, iron ore and steel will be separately listed, they said, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential.
Vedanta Ltd.’s parent, Vedanta Resources Ltd., will remain the holding company, the people said. Deliberations are ongoing and no final decisions on the structure or timing of the de-merger have been made.
Resolving a byzantine corporate structure has long been a priority for Agarwal’s indebted group, but a global increase in borrowing costs has raised the stakes, with about $2 billion of bonds due to be redeemed next year. Agarwal floated a plan to hive out some of his operations in August, but provided no details at the time.
By listing more of its businesses separately, Vedanta can hope to reduce a deep conglomerate discount, meaning it is currently worth less than the sum of its parts. The move paves the way for additional capital to be raised with share sales and would make divesting unprofitable businesses — something that Agarwal has long avoided — simpler.
In theory, it even allows investors to bet directly on some of the more nascent growth businesses, including semiconductors.
But the process will be fraught, long and several hurdles have yet to be cleared. Among the potential complications is the group’s use of its own stock in Vedanta Ltd. and in key cash-generating unit Hindustan Zinc Ltd., to secure debt. According to stock exchange data, it has pledged virtually all of its majority holding in both companies. That may well keep Hindustan Zinc under Vedanta Ltd.
“Vedanta Ltd. has limited ability to de-merge other units given creditors have charge of cash-generating assets, particularly Hindustan Zinc,” said Deven Choksey, managing director of brokerage KRChoksey Shares & Securities Pvt. in Mumbai. Vedanta would nevertheless be right to tap heightened global equity investor interest in India, he said.
Representatives for Vedanta Ltd. and Vedanta Resources didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Vedanta’s debt, meanwhile, remains under pressure. The group’s August 2024 and March 2025 bonds are trading below 75 cents on the dollar, levels typically considered distressed. Moody’s Investors Service earlier this week pushed the parent’s ratings deeper into junk, citing the elevated risk of debt restructuring over the next few months.
Read More: Vedanta Tumbles as Moody’s Cuts Parent Ratings Deeper Into Junk
Shares in Vedanta Ltd. on Thursday rose as much as 2% in Mumbai trading, before giving up almost all of the gains. The stock has fallen about a fifth over the past 12 months. Hindustan Zinc shares fell 0.9%.
--With assistance from Catherine Bosley, Abhishek Vishnoi, Divya Patil and Hemal Savai.
(Updates with details throughout)
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