Vedanta dollar bonds slip after plan to split up India business

(Reference image by Vedanta).

The dollar bonds of Vedanta Resources slipped, with one dropping the most in more than three weeks, on news Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal is planning to overhaul his sprawling conglomerate to tackle its debts.

All four junk-rated notes were indicated lower on Monday, Bloomberg-compiled data showed. The August 2024 bond posted the biggest drop, down 0.6 cents on the dollar to 62.6 cents at 1:45 p.m. in Hong Kong, its biggest decline in more than three weeks. Of the four bonds, three were trading below the 80 cents-on-the-dollar mark typically considered distressed.

With roughly $3 billion of US-currency bonds coming due over the next two years, the mining company needs to come up with cash. The board of India-based Vedanta Ltd. approved a plan to separate the business into six listed companies, according to an announcement on Friday.

That step, if successful, would pave the way for low-growth assets to be spun off for cash, while allowing investors to bet on some of the company’s newer ambitions, such as semiconductors.

The split-up is expected to be completed in the financial year ending March 2025. Parent Vedanta Resources has a $1 billion bond due in January 2024.

The firm is seeking to pay back only a portion in cash, with the remainder of the principal deferred for three years, Bloomberg reported last week, citing people familiar with the matter. The proposal is part of a debt-restructuring plan that also affects other dollar bonds due in the next two years.

(By Harry Suhartono and Catherine Bosley)


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