Ever heard of complexity bias? In simple terms, it’s the love for complication. Take the case of Vedanta, the company that is owned by Vedanta Resources (VRL), which was listed on the London Stock Exchange until 2018. Its management seems to be a prime example of someone with a complexity bias. “We don’t like, we don’t own, and we don’t track the company. Commodity is anyway a complicated business. That coupled with Vedanta’s complex structure led us to avoid the stock for almost eight years now,” says the CIO of a prominent mutual fund. Ironically, the management has been hard at company “simplification” for years now.
In 2012, Sterlite and Sesa were merged to form Sesa Sterlite, which was later renamed as Vedanta. That was followed by a merger with Cairn India in 2016. Thus, the listed Indian entity (Vedanta Ltd), turned into a hybrid structure comprising listed and unlisted subsidiaries and divisions, that produced everything from oil and gas, zinc, lead, silver aluminum, iron ore and power. Here’s how the Vedanta Group stands today — Volcan is a family trust with Anil Agarwal, scrap-dealer turned metals tycoon, at the helm. This promoter entity owns Vedanta Resources (VRL) and its subsidiaries) through Volcan Investments (65.73%) and Volcan Investments Cyp