NRI billionaire-controlled, Anil Agarwal's Vedanta group, said on Friday that it is yet to hear from the government on its subsidiary Sterlite's proposal to buy residual government stakes in Hindustan Zinc (HZL) and Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO) for about Rs 16,000 crore.
"We have given them the offer but we have not heard anything from them," Vedanta group chairman Anil Agarwal told reporters here after a meeting with petroleum and natural gas minister S Jaipal Reddy. "We have to arrange so much of funds, so we are not sure where we are at the moment."
The government holds 49% stake in Balco and 29.5% in Hindustan Zinc. Majority stakes in these two companies were sold to Sterlite in 2001 and 2003 respectively.
Vedanta's offer has been made at a time when the government is looking at various sources of increased revenue generation, including divesting its stake in the public sector units (PSUs).
Agarwal said that Sterlite, which has acquired majority stake in HZL and Balco about a decade back, has made the offer in January, while terming his meeting with the oil minister as a 'courtesy call'.
"In January, the government had asked us would you be interested in buying residual stake in HZL and Balco and we have given them the offer," the chairman of the $70 billion metals and mining conglomerate said.. "It was about Rs 16,000 crore for both the companies together."
Last week, Vedanta announced revamp of its structure by merging Sterlite Industries with another group company Sesa Goa. The new entity, Sesa Sterlite, will be the controlling firm for Vedanta's Indian operations post merger, including oil producer Cairn India.