Mumbai: UK-based Vedanta Group on Tuesday said that it has received market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) nod for a USD 9.6 billion deal to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Cairn India.

Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal said, "We have already received SEBI approval for an open offer. The issue will open very soon. Within the next one to two days, we will send out the mails regarding this to all concerned.”

Announced in August, 2010, the deal has been hanging fire since November, 2010, is likely to be considered for final approval by the Union Cabinet at its meeting in the national capital on Wednesday.

As per the Takeover Code of the SEBI, the acquirer is required to come out with an open offer to give an exit option to existing shareholders.

However, Cairn India after initial reluctance made conditional applications for government approval on November 23, more than three months after the announcement of the deal by its parent firm Cairn Energy Plc.

However, the Oil Ministry has conditioned the approval to the USD 9.6 billion deal on Cairn getting a no-objection from Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC).

The deal is currently awaiting an approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and according to the Petroleum Secretary S Sundareshan, Cairn Energy needs to take consent of partner ONGC before selling its majority stake in its Indian unit.

Once the government's nod is obtained, the two firms can approach their shareholders seeking extension of the April 15 deadline.

Any deal involving acquisition of 15 per cent or more stake in a listed company requires the acquirer to make an open offer for 20 per cent stake purchase from public shareholders and this offer needs to be approved by SEBI.

 (Agencies)