Holcim focuses on Ambuja shares

Holcim focuses on Ambuja shares
Published: 04 October 2007

Holcim is consolidating its hold over Ambuja Cements. It recently announced
an open offer to acquire an additional 20 per cent stake from minority
shareholders. If it does manage to garner the full amount, it will take its
shareholding in the company to over 56 per cent from the current level of
36.25 per cent.

Holcim has already approved an outlay of 3.4 billion Swiss francs (Rs 11,600
crore) to organically increase its capacity worldwide by 25Mt by 2010. The
bulk of this growth will come from India. Says CEO Markus Akermann: “Our
estimate is that the Indian market will grow at 10 per cent annually over
the next few years. That’s why we are increasing our total capacity by 15Mt
to over 50Mt by the end of 2010.”

But Nilesh Shah, CEO & MD, Envision Capital, a portfolio management services
firm says: “About 75-80Mt of fresh capacity is coming up in India, so 15Mt
is nothing big. Holcim has to expand here just to maintain its market