Holcim May Exit India, Puts Up Ambuja Cement and ACC for Sale: Reports
Moneylife Digital Team 14 April 2022
The world's largest cement-maker Holcim has put up for sale Ambjua Cement Ltd and ACC Ltd, its two listed companies in India and may exit the country, say media reports. Switzerland-based Holcim's unit Holderind Investments Ltd owns a 63.19% stake in Amubja Cement. Holderind Investments also holds a 4.48% stake in ACC, while Ambuja Cement holds 50.05% in the cement-maker. 
 
According to a report from the Economic Times (ET), Holcim is believed to have held early-stage negotiations with JSW and Adani group, among others, to explore their interest levels. Both are recent entrants in the cement-sector but have aggressive plans to ramp up. 
 
Quoting sources in the know, the report says, "Feelers have also been sent to regional cement operators like Shree Cement. Global cement companies who have circled around India for long are also expected to be tapped since taking over both Ambuja and ACC will catapult any player to the second position with a combined pan India capacity of 66 million tonnes per annum in the highly competitive, fragmented and price-sensitive market."
 
Since 2018, Holcim has tried to streamline operations by merging the two operations for maximum cost and operational efficiencies, but that process is still incomplete, the report from ET says.
 
According to a report from the Mint, "the Swiss giant is gauging interest in its controlling stake in Ambuja, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Holcim controls 63.1% of Ambuja, which has a market value of about $9.6 billion." 
 
Holcim has been selling off non-core assets to reduce debt and diversify through acquisitions. It divested its Brazilian unit for $1 billion in September and is also planning to sell its business in Zimbabwe, the report says.
 
Last year in July, LafargeHolcim, the holding company of ACC and Ambuja Cements, was rebranded as Holcim group. In 2015, Holcim merged with its French rival Lafarge to create LafargeHolcim. However, LafargeHolcim was forced to go through several restructurings to comply with anti-trust regulators worldwide by divesting assets across Europe and Asia, including India.
 
Comments
Ramesh Popat
2 months ago
Not unusual decision.
Kamal Garg
2 months ago
Why Holcim is exiting one of the fastest growing cement and building materials market in the world after having invested so much of money earlier, is unclear.
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