HeidelbergCement is in talks with cement makers in south and central India for buyouts and joint ventures at valuations of between US$80 and US$120 per tonne of capacity, a senior official said on Thursday. The world’s fourth-largest cement maker announced on Wednesday a joint venture with India’s Indorama Cement Ltd. to set up a grinding plant in the western state of Maharashtra.
HeidelbergCement aims to produce 5-10Mt in India over the next three years, managing board member Daniel Gauthier reported. Gauthier said he would try to make acquisitions first and look for joint venture partners later. He said the ideal purchase price would value the target company at between US$80 and US$120 per tonne of capacity in India, though it could pay "slightly more".
Holcim, which holds 34 per cent of India’s Associated Cement Companies, also bought a 14.8 per cent stake in Gujarat Ambuja Cements in January. Analysts estimated Holcim paid the equivalent of more than US$200 a tonne to buy the Gujarat Ambuja stake.