Anil Agarwal is the founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources. Agarwal, 64, known as Metals and mining magnate bought 19 percent stake in London-listed miner Anglo American through his family trust. In 2002-03, Vedanta bought 26 percent stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd for Rs 445 crore. After the disinvestment, the government holds 29.5 percent and Vedanta 64.9 percent stake in Hindustan Zinc. In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Agarwal said that he is trying to combine Anglo American and Hindustan Zinc'c operation. He also said It’s one of his strategies so Anglo American should develop their business in India.
Watch: Vedanta expects government to take decision on residual stake in Hindustan Zinc Edited Excerpts: What is the company’s derailed balanced stake buyout in Hindustan Zinc from the government?
The government was supposed to divest and give us the remaining 26 percent share. They haven’t given. We have made a lot of money for them. I hope at some point in time they take a decision and do that.
Let us talk about Anglo American, now is that going to be your next vehicle of meeting your global ambitions?
I don’t have any ambitions except I support the management. Anglo is one of the finest company, finest management. Whenever we meet I tell them that India with 1.4 billion people or 25 percent population of the world should be the foothold of Anglo because they produce copper, iron ore, coal, platinum, diamond. Gently I keep reminding them and telling them to look at India. It is one of my strategies so they should develop their business in India. Hopefully one day they will start doing that.
There has been also a lot of rumour about some sort of a synergistic benefit in bringing together Vedanta as well as Anglo American in which you own 21 percent stake. Is that something that you are looking at strategically?
We have talked to the government, we have been thinking that whether Hindustan Zinc and Anglo American can put it together, it can create a bigger platform and we all are working but everything is cooking in the cold water.
You wait and see what happen, at this point in time I wishing them very well. They are increasing their profits. The management is very strong. I am going to support them. I always say Africa is the integral part of Anglo and they should make sure that they remain focused on the continent and that is what they are doing and I am very pleased with the present management. You can’t find a better management then them.
Hindustan Zinc in the past has given you a lot of benefits in terms of the performance that it has put forth and right now rupee is helping it while the performance is sort of flattish. But help me understand one structure that you spoke about Vedanta is a listed entity in India, Hindustan Zinc is a separately listed entity in which the government has the golden share and you personally own 21 percent stake in Anglo American which is separately listed on London Stock Exchange, now how does the whole structure look like, what have you spoken to government about which can materialise hopefully later?
There is nothing which we have talked. At the moment government definitely looking at the matter.
What is it the merger of Hindustan Zinc and Anglo American so that the government’s stake reduces? is that something which is a thought process?
No, nothing, at this point of time is that the government is looking at how they can divest their 26 percent share and that one thing is going on. Other thing it will keep on happening because we all are in natural resource, it is like all Ganga Jamuna, it has to be together for the benefit of the shareholders, for the benefit of the stakeholders, benefit of the respective country.
What are the Vedanta's plan on Essar Steel?
Essar is one of the thing which we are looking and we have put in the best bid and we never made a noise. We put in our highest bid, we are there and the process is going on, the bank has declare ArcelorMittal as the highest bidder and the process is going on. I hope I am looking forward, this is a beautiful girl and it must go to the best house. This will serve a lot of purpose for India.
A: I am never been aggressive. At the right price, the right time it comes, we will have it but I am not going to fight for sure.
Are you bidding aggressively for this?