The Aditya Birla group has no plans of merging UltraTech Cement with parent Grasim Industries, chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said on Monday, putting to rest recent speculation that the group is working on a blueprint to bring together similar industries under a single umbrella (reports The Times of India).
"There are no plans at the moment," Mr Birla told reporters when asked about a possible merger, after an annual general meeting of UltraTech on Monday. Group flagship Grasim Industries owns 51 per cent in UltraTech which it bought from Larsen & Toubro in ’04 for about Rs 2200 crore.
Grasim Industries is India’s largest cement maker with a capacity to make about 33Mta, a shade larger than the Holcim-Gujarat Ambuja-ACC combine, which makes about 31Mta.
Mr Birla also outlined an ambitious expansion programme for UltraTech on Monday. The company’s capex plans include an expenditure of around Rs 1424 crore to be spent over the next three years. Of this, Rs 844 crore is for captive power plants in Gujarat and Chhatisgarh.
The company also wants to tap the growing cement market in southern India and is scheduled to invest Rs 1274 crore for a 4Mta plant in Andhra Pradesh. This also includes 1.3Mta split grinding unit and a 46mW power plant. "The government’s initiatives on infrastructure development and the boom in the housing sector are major growth drivers for the cement industry," said Mr Birla.