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Ready to pay the right price for Balco, Hindustan Zinc: Vedanta

New Delhi:

Vedanta Resources, the holding company for Bharat Aluminum Company (Balco) and Hindustan Zinc (HZL), today said it is ready to pay the “right price” for acquiring the government's residual stake in the two firms.

Speaking on whether Vedanta will sweeten the earlier offer of Rs.17,275 crore, for acquiring the residual stake in both the companies, Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agarwal said, “I am looking at the process. We are not looking at negotiating anything. Whatever is the right price (decided through a process) will be adopted."

In January this year, Vedanta Resources had offered Rs. 17,275 crore for 29.5% government's stake in HZL and 49% of government’s stake in Balco. The board of Vedanta Resources has approved upping the price to Rs. 21,635 crore for HZL and Balco if a situation arises.

Mr Agarwal said, “they (the govt) have asked for our offer, we have given them the offer and they have been talking to us. They too are very keen. I believe some decision will be arrived at.”

Agarwal was referring to the note floated by the Mines Ministry for comments of Finance Ministry for valuation of the two firms where the government holds minority stakes.

If the government accepts the present offer of Rs.17,525 crore for the two firms, it will raise more than 50 per cent of its divestment target at one go. The government has set a target of Rs.30,000 crore through the divestment in the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, on a cautious note, Mr Agarwal said, “we are also a little nervous because (if the deal goes through) big money is to be arranged. We will work with the government”.

At present, under the Vedanta Group companies in India, HZL is the most cash-rich company with Rs 19,136 crore in its books.

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