Vedanta Resources’ bondholders back debt restructuring plan

BENGALURU (Reuters) -UK-based Vedanta Resources said on Wednesday it received bondholders’ support to restructure some of its near-term debt, easing repayment pressure on the parent of Indian metals conglomerate Vedanta Ltd.

Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources last year proposed restructuring four series of bonds, including two due for maturity in 2024, one in 2025 and another in 2026, to ease its massive debt burden.

The group, which has an outstanding debt of $6.4 billion – including a $4.5 billion payment due by fiscal 2025 – has been seeking to extend debt maturities, and amend some bond terms and certain waivers.

It received consent from about 97% to 100% of bondholders across the four series of bonds, surpassing the required threshold of 66.67%, it said in a regulatory filing.

“The overwhelming consent to the revised terms will take immediate pressure (off) Vedanta to repay the debt obligation,” Vedanta Resources said.

The green light from investors came despite S&P Global Ratings’ December downgrade of Vedanta Resources, saying the company’s restructuring plan was spurred by the high “likelihood of a conventional default”.

Other rating agencies had also downgraded the firm last year, citing concerns about the group’s outstanding debt.

Group Chairman Agarwal made several bids to trim the group’s debt, including an unsuccessful attempt to take the company private in 2020.

In 2023, a deal for unit Hindustan Zinc to buy some of the debt-laden firm’s zinc assets ended up being contested by the Indian government, which holds the largest minority stake in Hindustan Zinc, amounting to 29.54%.

In December, Vedanta Resources raised $1.25 billion from financial institutions for refinancing, including a new credit facility.

($1 = 83.3104 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Navamya Ganesh Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Sonia Cheema and Janane Venkatraman)