Minority shareholders in oil and natural gas major Cairn India Ltd. on Monday approved the company’s merger with Vedanta Limited, Mint reported. Around 92.86% of the votes cast were in favour of the move, Cairn said in a statement. About 12.63% public institution shareholders such as the Life Insurance Corporation of India did not vote in the process, the report said. Vedanta shareholders had approved the merger on Friday.
Cairn India Chairperson Navin Agarwal said the new entity will “provide de-risked earnings and stable cash flows and drive long-term value”. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the 2016-’17 financial year. While minority shareholders in Cairn India will own 20.2% of the merged entity, Vedanta’s minority stakeholders will hold 29.7%. The merger will allow Vedanta to help repay its debt and reduce its interest costs.
The merger was accepted after Cairn India’s shareholders accepted Vedanta’s July 22 offer of one equity share and four redeemable preference shares in Vedanta. Minority stakeholders such as LIC had rejected its previous offer of one equity and one redeemable preference share. An advisory firm, Institutional Investor Advisory Services, has said that the merger will create a diversified company with better capital allocation and a more stable earnings regime.
However, the managing director of another advisory firm that has counselled against the move on transparency issues said that some foreign institutional investors cast their vote against the merger. “It appears Cairn Energy Plc. has voted in favour of the merger while LIC may have abstained,” added JN Gupta of Stakeholders Empowerment Services. It was earlier reported that LIC, which owns a 9.6% and 3.9% stake in Cairn India and Vedanta respectively, would vote in favour of the proposed merger.