Holcim has raised its stake in Indian cement companies ACC and Ambuja Cements above 50%. Holcim spokesman Peter Gysel said the company increased its stake to 50.1% in ACC and 50.01% in Ambuja Cements through open-market purchases last week. ACC and Ambuja are among India’s largest cement companies by sales.
Holcim has upped its stake in ACC to 50.1% from 49.3% after it bought 1.5 million shares and to 50.002% in Ambuja Cement from 46.4% following the purchase of 54.5 million shares, analysts at JP Morgan noted.
This stake purchase has caused market to speculate that Holcim, after gaining more than 50% stake, might merge both the cement companies, causing shares of both the entities to trade significantly above its peer group valuation.
JP Morgan, however, said it is difficult to answer if the two cement companies would be merged following majority stake held by Holcim especially after ACC’s chief executive officer recent comment at the AGM that "there are no plans for merger with Ambuja cement as of now".
In JP Morgan’s view the recent support to ACC and Ambuja Cement stock price was driven by expectations of Holcim increasing stake. A merger between ACC and Ambuja Cement, will not give any material synergies in the near term.