A final decision on the much delayed $9.6 billion (Rs 43,680 crore) Cairn-Vedanta deal is expected soon with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) stepping in and asking the petroleum ministry to give its views on the deal by the end of this month.
The petroleum ministry’s consent is required for the Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta Resources’ to go ahead and close the acquisition of Cairn India.
The PMO’s directive followed a one-on-one meeting of Agarwal had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last Wednesday, news agency PTI said quoting sources privy to the development. Agarwal had also met petroleum minister Murli Deora and petroleum secretary S Sundareshan after meeting the PM.
Vedanta is buying 40% to 51% stake in Cairn India from Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy Plc. The ongoing uncertainty has also delayed Vedanta's Indian unit Sesa Goa to make an open offer for an additional 20% stake to minority shareholders of Cairn India. Both these transactions are expected to close by April 15.
Earlier, the petroleum ministry has set February as the deadline for its final consent on the deal. However, sources said that going by the February-end deadline, Vedanta could not have closed the deal by April 15. This is because the open offer, which can be made only after the government consent, will have to remain open for subscription for 60 days.