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Billionaire Mining Tycoon in India Fights to Clear Vedanta’s Debt

  • Leading miner needs $2 billion for bonds due next year
  • Vedanta founder Anil Agarwal confident of finding the cash
Anil Agarwal
Anil AgarwalSource: Bloomberg

For decades, Anil Agarwal cultivated a reputation as one of India’s great survivors. Starting as a scrap metal dealer, the billionaire magnate built a mining conglomerate to rival any other, weathering cash crunches, government friction and disputes with Indigenous people over expansion plans.

But in recent months, Agarwal has faced one of his toughest acts yet. The tycoon’s Vedanta Resources Ltd. has close to $2 billion of bonds to settle in 2024 — half of which is due in January. Short of that, his London-headquartered company risks getting cut deeper into junk and losing crucial access to funding. That’s bad news for one of India’s richest men, who has long dreamed of competing against Glencore Plc and BHP Billiton as the world’s dominant natural resources supplier.