Vedanta to acquire up to 60 per cent of Cairn India

Vedanta is to acquire between 51 to 60 per cent of Cairn India, a leading player in the oil and gas industry on the subcontinent, for up to $9.6bn (£6.1bn) in cash.

Vedanta is a diversified metals and mining group with its primary operations in India.

According to the company, the acquisition of a controlling stake in Cairn India will add an additional high-quality asset in an attractive natural-resources segment.

India currently imports over two thirds of its oil, and oil imports are forecast to grow at 5.4 per cent a year over the period 2005 to 2015 − relative to declining domestic production.

Cairn India is said to represent a unique oil and gas exploration and production platform, with the second largest reserves in India among private-sector oil companies.

The proposed transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2011.