Bloomberg- Indian commodities tycoon Anil Agarwal, who made a fortune buying state companies and fixing them up, is preparing to raise an investment fund targeting turnaround opportunities in the country, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Vedanta Resources Ltd.’s billionaire founder is working with Centricus Asset Management Ltd. on the plans, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. They have started approaching potential investors for the proposed India Direct Investment fund, which will buy stakes in government companies being sold as part of the country’s 2.1 trillion-rupee ($29 billion) divestment program, the people said.
The fund will also target companies restructuring under India’s bankruptcy regime, the people said. It will look at both private and public firms, they said. Agarwal and London-based Centricus plan to contribute as much as 10% of the capital, according to the people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is putting some of India’s corporate icons on the block in a bid to plug budget holes and fund infrastructure spending. Agarwal is seeking to find the gems among the dozens of companies being sold and tap his industry connections to turn them around, as he tries to repeat his success in building up a metals and mining powerhouse.
Deliberations are at an early stage, and details of the fund could change, the people said. A representative for Agarwal couldn’t immediately comment, while a representative for Centricus declined to comment.
Agarwal has a net worth of about $2.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The former metal trader built his business through a series of ambitious acquisitions over the past few decades, including a 2001 deal to take control of government-owned Bharat Aluminium Co. in one of the first tests of India’s efforts to offload state holdings.
He followed that up with the purchase of another government entity, Hindustan Zinc Ltd., and in 2007 successfully bid for what was India’s largest iron ore producer, Sesa Goa Ltd. In recent years, his commodities company acquired control of insolvent Electrosteel Steels Ltd. from its lenders.
The self-made billionaire also went abroad for investment. Until last year, he was the largest shareholder of Anglo American Plc., triggering speculation that Agarwal was planning to push for a major change, such as a takeover or breakup. In the end, the tycoon decided to exit his investment as he said his returns were “achieved even sooner than expected.”
Agarwal’s Volcan Investments Ltd. took his London-listed Vedanta Resources private in 2018 as the entrepreneur sought to simplify the corporate structure of his resources group. This year, he proposed to buy the 49.9% stake in India-traded Vedanta Ltd. that he doesn’t own and delist the commodities giant.
Centricus oversees $27 billion in assets, according to its website. The firm was founded in 2016 by Nizar Al-Bassam, a former investment banker at Deutsche Bank AG, and ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Dalinc Ariburnu. Centricus advised SoftBank Group Corp. on the creation of its $100 billion Vision Fund and also worked on its $3.3 billion takeover of Fortress Investment Group LLC. –Bloomberg
Also read: Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal pledges Rs 100 cr to COVID-19 cause, says many face uncertainty
Anil Agarwal is not what you guys have written about. He is full of corrupt practices and steals from the poor who do not have rights like retail investors. His very looks are nauseating. His group is run like one man company. Look at Vedanta he is stealing from the retail investors and then committing large amounts to charity. Does not work. Stay away from such promoters. I am selling my stake from Hindustan Zinc as well. .
Absolutely correct, well put. Best to Avoid him and All his Companies. Yes if looks can convey, the story is complete.
Instead buying out investors in Vedanta Ltd., suggest AA to spare investors who invested their hardearned money in Vedanta Ltd. reposing full confidence in AA, and make it an investor friendly share by declaring 1:1 bonus shares along with handsome dividend say Rs. 25/- to Rs. 30/- whereby this share price will double or thrible & even quadruple, making investors as well promoters happy & rich. AA could very well utilise all his available millions of dollars in many many new profitable acquisitions for which ample of opportunities are available in India itself. “Grow & leave us too to grow” should be the policy of a philanthropist persons like AA. Such policy will bring allround fortunes in AA’s family. If Vedanta share holders are leftout on cross roads after acquiring their shares by putting small little pennys in their begging bowels, definitely “BIG CURSE” will by accumulating for generations to come in the family. “DO GOOD & BE GOOD” in our limited time we are existing in this world. Chidambaram suggested such delisting idea to Parry Agro and as a result of CURSE from Parry Agro shareholders, Almighty sent him to prison !!! These are points to be taken care of prior proceeding for delisting Vedanta Ltd. because one’s hardearned money is invested in securing their share holding.
Yes I fully agree with you. He has blood on his hands by delisting and trying to steal from the retail investors. This is not business – he should understand that he is an elderly person and things can go anytime. Why should he steal from poor man and make himself richer. He could have used the same money and bought shares from the secondary market. His intention is to steal the money of Vedanta as private company are not under scrutiny. Although I am a shareholder, I was happy when Madras High Court put a stop on opening the copper plant. This much of curse he has bestowed on himself. He can take a loss as he has billions but people like us, have put all our money in this company thinking about high dividend yeild. Now he cheats us this way. He does not understand that there is Karma. He will repent and will suffer, if thousands of retail investors are made to suffer.
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