By Anto Antony
Vedanta Ltd. may lose its third chief financial officer in as many years just as the mining conglomerate controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal heads into an ambitious restructuring of its businesses, according to people familiar with the matter.
Sonal Shrivastava, who joined the company in June, informed Agarwal about her decision to leave last month, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. Agarwal is talking with finance professionals who had earlier stints in the group to replace her, and a decision is expected as early as this week, they said.
Shrivastava’s departure will add to Agarwal’s woes as his holding company, Vedanta Resources Ltd., faces about $3 billion of bond repayments in the next two years. The group has been engaging with bondholders on a potential restructuring of terms for the upcoming maturities. Her resignation, if accepted, will follow that of G. R. Arun Kumar, who left in 2021 after a failed attempt by Agarwal to take the Mumbai-listed company private, and Ajay Goel, who quit earlier this year.
A spokesperson for Vedanta didn’t respond to a request for comment. Shrivastava didn’t respond to a request for comment through a group spokesperson.
Last month, Vedanta Ltd. approved a plan to split itself into six listed companies. Agarwal hopes the move will attract investors directly to key businesses and improve the valuation of its component parts. The shake-up would also make it easier to sell some assets to reduce its parent’s debt load, something the billionaire has long avoided.
Agarwal, who took over his father’s business making aluminum conductors in the 1970s before branching into trading scrap metal, built Vedanta Ltd. into a natural resources conglomerate through a series of ambitious acquisitions. However, the need for cash to repay the holding company’s debt and plans to foray into new businesses, such as semiconductor manufacturing, has forced the tycoon to sell a stake in the company and revisit the group’s corporate structure to attract fresh funds.
First Published: Oct 23 2023 | 10:20 AM IST