Correction: Because of inaccurate information provided by a source, an earlier version of this story mistakenly identified AZB & Partners as counsel to Vedanta on its bond placement. The first and fourth paragraphs of the article have been revised to reflect the correction. Due to an editing error, the seventh paragraph also inaccurately stated that Vedanta’s $1.5 billion investment in Cairn Energy occurred in March, not April, and that Latham worked on that deal; that paragraph has been corrected. We regret the errors.
Vedanta Resources PLC has returned to the debt markets to fund its second bite at Cairn Energy’s India business this year. Latham & Watkins and Henry Davis York have advised Vedanta on a $1.65 billion private bond placement.
Vedanta, a London-based metals company which primarily operates in India, earlier this year paid $1.5 billion for a 10.4 percent stake in Cairn India. The proceeds of the company’s latest bond, a dual-tranche offering to institutional buyers in the United Kingdom, will partly finance the acquisition of a further interest in the company.
Vedanta owns a controlling stake in Sesa Goa Ltd., India’s largest private producer of iron ore. It also has interests in copper mines in Queensland and Tasmania, as well as Zambia.
Latham’s team was led by Singapore partners Rajiv Gupta and Michael Sturrock and London partner Lene Malthasen. The firm provided advice on U.S. and English law.
Sydney-based Henry Davis York advised the issuer on Australian law and has regularly acted for the company on legal issues regarding its Australian assets. The firm did not respond to requests for comment.
Shearman & Sterling advised the underwriters–Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley. [Editor's note: RBS owns a minority stake in ALM Media, LLC, the parent company of The Asian Lawyer.] The firm fielded a team led by Hong Kong-based partner Kyungwon Lee. In 2008, the firm also advised the underwriters for Vedanta’s $1.25 billion bond offering in Singapore.
Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. provided the underwriters with Indian law advice. Prashant Gupta led the firm’s team. Amarchand, along with AZB & Partners, was also involved in Vedanta’s earlier $1.5 billion investment in Cairn India, in April.
Last August, Latham provided English law advice to Vedanta during its attempted $9.6 billion acquisition of a controlling stake in Cairn India. AZB & Partners acted as Indian counsel to Vedanta.
But the buyout last year hit regulatory hurdles, causing Vedanta to seek other ways to acquire an interest in Cairn India. In April, Vedanta bought 10.4 percent of the company from Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Berhad, better known as Petronas, for $1.5 billion.
In that transaction, Amarchand was Indian counsel to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the placement agent for Petronas, and AZB & Partners acted for Sesa Goa, the subsidiary through which Vedanta made the acquisition. Clifford Chance also advised BofA Merrill, and Luthra & Luthra represented Petronas.