India’s Top Court Clears Vedanta Acquisition of Cairn India

Vedanta Resources Plc (VED)’s acquisition of oil explorer Cairn India Ltd. (CAIR) was today cleared by the nation’s highest court, which rejected a petition that sought to declare the $8.67 billion deal illegal.

A federal probe into the deal isn’t required, a two-judge Supreme Court panel of K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra ruled today. The petition, filed in March last year by Arun Kumar Agrawal, wanted the court to order state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp. to buy a controlling stake in Cairn India.

The suit also sought an investigation into the reason Oil & Natural Gas didn’t buy the shares. Oil & Natural Gas, India’s biggest energy explorer, had said it won’t bid for Cairn India, citing legal and commercial considerations.

Vedanta, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, is a metals and mining company that had no experience in oil and gas projects before acquiring Cairn India, operator of the nation’s biggest onshore oil deposit. It completed the purchase in December 2011 after the government approved the deal.

Cairn India pared losses and traded at 305.35 rupees, down 0.3 percent, as of 12:41 p.m. in Mumbai.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pratap Patnaik in New Delhi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at

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