The presence of Swiss cement maker Holcim’s CEO Markus Akermann and his board colleague Paul Hugentobler in Mumbai to attend the Associated Cement Companies Ltd (ACC) board meeting on Tuesday sparked rumours of a change in the ownership of the local cement company. ACC officials were vehement in their denials, though sources said a stake in Gujarat Ambuja could also be a possibility (see below).
“It was a normal routine board meeting,” a ACC spokesperson told reporters, on being quizzed about the arrival of the Swiss, who control the company along with Gujarat Ambuja’s Narottam Sekhsaria. The Swiss duo will stay back for a day, and it’s believed that a dinner is hosted by Sekhsaria in their honour on Wednesday.
At the same time, it is fairly common knowledge that Gujarat Ambuja’s Narottam Sekhsaria may well be looking to divest himself of his cement assets, brought about by uncertainties over family continuation in the cement business likely to sway his thinking in favour of an early exit strategy.