Workers load sacks of cement onto trucks parked at a rail yard on the outskirts of Patna, Bihar, India, on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. After falling into a coronavirus-fueled recession in the third quarter, India’s economy has likely returned to expansion in the three months ended December, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg
Gautam Adani’s conglomerate is in advanced talks to acquire Holcim Ltd.’s businesses in India, according to people familiar with the matter.
The billionaire’s Adani Group could sign an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Ambuja Cements Ltd. from Holcim as soon as in the coming days, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Other bidders including JSW Group remain interested in the assets, they said.
Ambuja shares have climbed about 26% in April, giving it a market value of about $10 billion. Holcim, which controls 63.1% of the company, has been considering the sale of its stake, Bloomberg News has reported. Ambuja’s subsidiaries include ACC Ltd., which is also publicly traded.
No final decisions have been made and talks could still fall apart, the people said. Representatives for Holcim and JSW Group declined to comment, while spokespeople for Adani and Ambuja didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Holcim has recently been selling off non-core assets, divesting its Brazilian unit for $1 billion in September and planning the sale of its business in Zimbabwe.
What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:
“India’s cement producers face tough competition and volatile fuel costs, both of which are impediments to sustainable, steady profits. This makes the country’s fragmented cement industry fertile ground for an extended shakeout.”
-Sonia Baldeira, senior analyst
Click here to read the research.
Founded in 1983, Ambuja has a cement capacity of 31 million metric tons, and has six integrated manufacturing plants and eight cement grinding units in India, its website shows.
Adani Group’s flagship firm Adani Enterprises Ltd. has two cement subsidiaries. Adani Cementation Ltd. is planning to build an integrated facility in Gujarat, according to a compliance report in November. The group established Adani Cement Ltd. in June 2021.