Holcim hikes Ambuja stake to 40 per cent

Holcim hikes Ambuja stake to 40 per cent
Published: 23 October 2007

Holcim, the world’s second largest cement maker, has scaled up its shareholding in Ambuja Cements (ACL) by 3.15 per cent to nearly 40 per cent for Rs 714 crore through open market operations.
 
In a series of block deals, the Swiss cement major purchased 4.8 crore shares, representing 3.15 per cent stake in the country’s third largest cement maker ACL, for an average cost of Rs 148.80 apiece.
 
Sellers in the block deal include Notz Stucki Cie, a portfolio management services provider and The Master Trust Bank of Japan. The two entities sold 99.7 lakh shares and 80 lakh shares respectively.
 
The move strengthens Holcim’s attempt to push up equity in ACL beyond the majority shareholding for which it has launched a 20 per cent open offer for the retail shareholders on October 18.
 
Priced at Rs 154 a share, the offer, if subscribed fully, will jack up the global company’s equity in ACL to 60 per cent.
 
The offer, which is expected to cost Holcim nearly Rs 5,460 crore, will close on November 6. At this price, the enterprise value of ACL is estimated at Rs 1200 per tonne, the highest in the industry.
 
The ACL stock today opened at Rs 147 and touched an intra-day high of Rs 149.75 before closing at Rs 145.35, up 4.12 per cent in a strong Mumbai market.
 
Now Holcim holds almost equal stake in both of its Indian affiliates, ACC and ACL. Through this two companies, Holcim controls one-fifth of the country’s cement market with combined capacity of 37Mta.
 
Holcim plans to invest $1.2-1.5 billion in India to increase production capacity by 15 million tonnes by three years.