Grupo Mexico won $82.8 million in a lawsuit against Indian copper producer Sterlite Industries, a unit of Vedanta Resources, over a failed deal to buy its Arizona-based Asarco out of bankruptcy, or less than four per cent of what it seeked.
US bankruptcy judge Richard Schmidt in Texas, awarded the damages to Asarco in a ruling yesterday. The amount was less than the $2.28 billion the copper miner wanted, following Sterlite’s decision in 2008 to walk away from a deal to buy the company. Sterlite, which blamed a drop in copper prices for failing to close the deal, harmed Asarco by delaying its exit from bankruptcy, Schmidt said. The damages were reduced because Grupo Mexico and Sterlite waged a 2009 bidding war for Asarco, which the former won. “Damages must be reduced to reflect a subsequent mitigating transaction,” Schmidt said.
Neither Sterlite nor Grupo Mexico spokesperson could be reached for comment.
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