London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc is in talks to acquire a majority 51 per cent stake in Cairn India for about USD 8-8.5 billion (nearly Rs 40,000 crore) and the deal may be announced on Sunday evening or Monday.
Scottish explorer Cairn Energy Plc, which holds 62.37 per cent interest in the India-listed Cairn India, is seeking up to 20 per cent premium for passing on controlling stake, two persons in know of the development said.
Billionaire Anil Agarwal, who heads Vedanta, "is meeting Cairn Energy Plc Chief Executive Bill Gammell in London today and the deal is likely to be announced as early as Sunday
evening or on Monday," one of them said.
The deal will be contingent on government approval as Cairn's three producing oil and gas assets including the giant Rajasthan fields and seven exploration blocks either have
explicit provision for seeking prior approval before transfer of interest or gives pre-emption or right of first refusal to partners like ONGC.
The sources said Cairn Energy has been in talks with Vedanta for three weeks now and talks centre around selling majority stake.
"If Cairn Energy was to sell a minority 10-12 per cent stake, they would have done that on the stock exchange. Moreover, it does not make sense for an investor like Vendata to make portfolio investment," a source said.