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S&R cross-sells from cap markets to $9.6bn Cairns-Vedanta M&A

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S&R Associates has landed the $9.6bn corporate takeover of long-groomed client Cairns India by UK mining giant Vedanta Resources, which was advised by AZB & Partners as Scottish firm Shepherd and Wedderburn and US firm Latham & Watkins stepped up internationally.

S&R fielded a small team that included only Delhi partner Uday Walia and associate Mohit Gogia, said Walia, adding that the relationship with Cairns Plc came about after Cairn's initial public offering (IPO) in December 2006.

"We were advisers to the underwriters to the IPO," said Walia. "We struck up a relationship with Cairns which is why they instructed us for general other pieces of advice that we've given them over the years."

Scottish firm Shepherd and Wedderburn is a very long-standing adviser to Cairns, with partners Paul Hally and Stephen Trombala having advised the company on the sale of a stake between 51 and 61 per cent to Vedanta.

AZB & Partners advised Vedanta on Indian law aspects while Latham & Watkins led on international law for the buyer.

AZB's team was represented by founding partner Zia Mody and partners Shuva Mandal and Essaji Vahanvati while Latham & Watkins led with London partners Graeme Ward and Rory Negus and Hong Kong-based partner David Miles and Singapore partner Rajiv Gupta.

Vedanta will have to make an open offer for an addition 20 per cent stake in Cairn India by October 11, ultimately resulting in a 51 to 60 per cent holding by the Vedanta Group and partly through Sesa Goa. Cairn India is the subsidiary of Cairn Plc.

S&R Associates is currently in the final stages of setting up its Mumbai office in a bid to expand further on its corporate practice.

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