Billionaire industrialist Anil Agarwal plans to leave behind a legacy: an Indian resources group to rival the world’s biggest. The founder and owner of Vedanta Resources Plc wants to keep building the company into a giant producer of the commodities that India needs to curb its reliance on imports, create jobs and reduce poverty.
Despite its insatiable appetite for materials, India is yet to impose itself among the mining heavyweights in the way that Australia, China or even the U.K does.
“It can be the second- or third-largest resource company in the world,” Agarwal, 64, said in an interview in London. Domestic resources have been key to the success of all of the world’s biggest economies and India should be no different, he said. “We thought India should have a company.”
The goal is to invest in more local production of all commodities to feed India’s rapidly growing economy, which currently depends on imports for 80 percent of its oil and minerals. What’s less clear is how Agarwal’s stake in Anglo American Plc fits into that plan.
The structure of his purchase last year — he’s now Anglo’s top shareholder but effectively rents the shares — led to speculation that he might take an activist role and seek to merge assets with Vedanta.
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