Hindustan Zinc, Vedanta Shares Rise Despite Stake Sale Delay

The Indian government may shelve plans to sell shares in Hindustan Zinc.

Shares of the metals company and Vedanta Resources, which owns more than 64% of the company, each rose about 1% on March 13, despite news that a stake sale in Hindustan Zinc may be on hold.

Shares of India’s largest integrated zinc producer were trading at Rs 305.6 on the BSE, up 0.3% at 9:24 am. Hindustan Zinc shares have posted negative returns of 3% and 5% over the past year and year-to-date. Vedanta shares rose 1.2% to Rs 283.25 on the BSE.

The Indian government may suspend plans to sell some of its stake in Hindustan Zinc unless the company cancels its nearly $3 billion cash takeover of two Vedanta Group subsidiaries, Reuters quoted a senior government official.

The government is the largest minority shareholder in Hindustan Zinc, with a 29.54% stake in the company, while Vedanta owns 64.9%. The London-based company is keen to increase its stake in the zinc producer by 6% as the government dilutes its stake.

Hindustan Zinc’s board approved the $2.98 billion acquisition of Vedanta Group’s zinc business in January. “Investors need certainty about the deal, and the government may not go ahead with its planned sale offer until an outcome is reached,” Reuters quoted an official.

In February, the government objected to Vedanta’s proposed sale of its international zinc business to Hindustan Zinc, citing an excessive valuation of $2.98 billion.

Hindustan Zinc, a subsidiary of the Vedanta Group of companies, is mining and smelting zinc, lead and silver. The company has an 80% market share in India’s key zinc market and owns the world’s largest underground zinc mining operation at Rampura Agucha.

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