S&P upgrades Vedanta Resources just days after a downgrade

BENGALURU (Reuters) – S&P Global Ratings upgraded Vedanta Resources, the London-based parent of Indian miner Vedanta Ltd, on Monday, citing a more “manageable” debt maturity profile after a recent debt restructuring, which the rating agency blamed for a downgrade just days back.

The rating agency raised its long-term issuer credit rating on Vedanta Resources from “SD,” or “selective default,” to “CCC+”, indicating the company is currently vulnerable and depends on favourable conditions to meet its financial commitments.

S&P had previously downgraded Vedanta Resources three times in a row, the latest of which was on Friday when it called the company’s move to extend the maturity on three U.S. dollar-denominated bonds a “distressed” transaction.

The rating agency said on Monday, “The stable outlook on Vedanta Resources reflects the high prospects that the company will meet its debt obligations over the next 12-15 months, after completing its liability management exercise.”

It raised its ratings on the company’s outstanding bonds due January 2024, August 2024 and March 2025, which had their maturities extended, to “CCC+” from “D”.

It also raised its rating on the company’s April 2026 bond to “CCC+” from “CCC.”

S&P says it estimates Vedanta Resources has annual external debt maturities of about $900 million at the holding-company level in fiscal 2025 and 2026, which is more manageable than its maturities of $2.5 billion-$3 billion over fiscal 2023-2024.

Saddled with $6.4 billion in outstanding debt, including a $4.5 billion payment due by fiscal 2025, Vedanta Resources has been attempting to shore up its finances, including through the recent debt restructuring.

Group Chairman Anil Agarwal made several bids to trim debt, including an unsuccessful attempt to take the company private in 2020 and plans to split Vedanta into six companies.

(Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)