Vedanta Resources Plc’s planned de-listing from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) could see the company relinquish its control of its subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
Foil Vedanta, an independent grassroots solidarity organization focused on British-Indian mining giant, Vedanta Resources Plc, stated that Vedanta’s planned de-listing from the LSE could have direct implications for all its subsidiaries operating in several different jurisdictions.
Mining mogul Anil Agarwal plans to delist his flagship firm from the LSE after buying out 33.5 per cent of non-promoter shareholders, according to the Times of India.
In a statement published earlier last month, Vedanta stated that it no longer sees the London listing as necessary to access capital, and that the deal will simplify Vedanta’s corporate structure.
That development followed the killing of 13 protesters in police firing at the firm’s copper smelter plant in Tamil Nadu in June, which led to political opposition to the company in the UK, and a drop in its share price.
In Zambia’s Copperbelt Province, the controversial mineral resources company has been locked in legal dispute with Zambian farmers and fishermen who have so far succeeded in a landmark case at the London High Court and Court of Appeal to get jurisdictional permission for their pollution damages case against KCM to be heard in the UK.
Commenting on the planned de-listing, Foil Vedanta fears that KCM could soon be controlled by another private company once Vedanta successfully de-lists.
“The exit from London would leave Vedanta with just two listed entities – Vedanta Ltd (listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange [BSE], and the National Stock Exchange of India [NSE], and with ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange [NYSE]), which operates most of the company’s Indian subsidiaries, and Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) (BSE and NSE listed). Another important question relates to Zambia, as Konkola Copper Mines, which is currently a direct subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Plc, may then be controlled by a private company. We are yet to hear the Zambian government’s views on this situation” Foil stated in a press statement.
It stated that despite Vedanta’s planned de-listing, the company should not be allowed to go unpunished for the various crimes it allegedly instigated.
“The first closing date of the share buyback offer is 31st August, after which we expect Vedanta to hold a final AGM in London. While we must celebrate this landmark victory in chasing Vedanta out of London, it is also crucial that they are not allowed to flee the scene and avoid being brought to justice for the myriad of crimes they have committed like Lonmin, ENRC, Bumi, Essar as a London-listed company. It is also essential that we challenge the complicity of the City of London, with its bloody track record of supporting mining companies linked to corporate massacres, gross pollution and fraud,” stated Foil.
And according to a detailed corporate structure, Vedanta Plc, which is currently listed on the LSE, holds a 79.4 per cent stake in KCM, leaving the remaining 20.6 per cent owned by ZCCM-IH.
Vedanta’s planned de-listing, however, potentially throws KCM’s future ownership into further uncertainty.