Several investment bankers said that Vedanta's management did have a strong reputation for turning around businesses and keeping costs under control.
"Still, there is always an element of fear among the investors," said an international banker in reference to the various controversies it is entangled in. The banker, who has previously advised the company, declined to be named.
Vedanta, whose acquisitive journey started with Mr Agarwal buying a copper company in 1979, now has businesses spread across the world, including India, Africa, Ireland and Australia. It was the first Indian company to list in London in 2003.
But that listing meant it became the target of a sustained campaign by a London-registered environmental group called Foil Vedanta, which holds demonstrations outside Vedanta's annual meetings in London. In Thoothukudi, Vedanta's copper plant has been shut for more than 50 days and will remain closed until at least June 6 because the local pollution regulator has said the facility is not complying with environmental rules.
Several cases have been filed against the plant since it started in 1996, and the Supreme Court in 2013 fined it about $18 million for breaking environmental laws.
The next year, Vedanta lost a battle to mine bauxite in the a lushly forested area, Niyamgiri hills in Odisha, that the Dongria Kondh tribe there considers sacred.
The rejection forced the company to not only import expensive bauxite for an aluminium plant in the same state but to also delay its expansion.
© Thomson Reuters 2018
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