Vedanta Limited’s shares nosedived 12 per cent at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday to end the day at Rs 232.25, even hitting a low of Rs 222.65 during intra-day trade. The shares had opened at Rs 262.80 in the morning.
The steep fall in the oil-to-metals conglomerates shares was attributed to Vedanta offering to sell a copper smelter complex in Tamil Nadu that was closed four years ago after police opened fire during protests which culminated in 13 deaths.
Prospective buyers have until July 4 to submit expressions of interest, the company said earlier today, without giving financial details, a Reuters report said.
Vedanta’s 400,000 tonnes per annum copper smelter in the port city of Thoothukudi was ordered shut in May 2018 by Tamil Nadu, a week after the deadly protests that sought the plant’s closure for alleged pollution.
The incident, in which 12 protesters were shot dead and one died from other injuries, was condemned by a working group of United Nations’ human rights experts for the “excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force by police”.
Vedanta, which has repeatedly denied allegations of the smelter being polluting, has challenged Tamil Nadu state’s decision to permanently shut the smelter at the Supreme Court. The smelter was operated by its unit Sterlite Copper, Reuters reported.
It is not clear when the Supreme Court will hear the case.
“Interested and financially competent parties shall submit expression of interest along with company profile and other relevant credentials latest by 1800 hours, 4th July 2022,” Vedanta said in a newspaper advertisement on Monday.