Vedanta to set up USD 10 billion fund to buy govt assets

NEW DELHI: Vedanta Resources Ltd's plan to establish a USD 10 billion fund to acquire state-owned companies has sparked interest from sovereign wealth funds, and the fund will be floated once the government solicits bids for firms such as BPCL or Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), the company's chairman said.

Anil Agarwal's group has expressed interest in acquiring the government's stake in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and SCI, which is valued at more than USD 12 billion.

"We're establishing a USD ten-billion fund," Agarwal stated in an interview.The fund will be funded through Vedanta's internal resources and external capital. "We've received an outpouring of support for this, particularly from sovereign wealth funds," he said. The goal is to establish a 10-year fund that will employ a private equity-style strategy of investing in businesses and increasing their profitability before seeking an exit.

Agarwal previously stated that Vedanta would partner with London-based Centricus to establish a USD 10-billion fund focused on public sector stake sales. Centricus is responsible for the management of USD 28 billion in assets.

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