Sebi clears Holcim open offer

Sebi clears Holcim open offer
Published: 18 March 2005

The Securities and Exchange Board of India today approved the Swiss giant Holcim’s open offer to bid for stake in Associated Cement Companies at the rate of Rs 370 per share. Holcim announced on 20 January this year its intention to take over ACC via Gujarat Ambuja Cement Limited following its pact with the latter. Holcim has picked up 67 per cent stake in ACIL. ACIL in turn holds 13.8 per cent in ACC which it wants to raise to 50.01 per cent. After Sebi’s approval today, the Life Insurance Corporation of India, which holds 15.7 per cent stake in ACC, is likely to off load 5.7 per cent in view of Holcim’s open offer. The LIC conducted its own valuation of Holcim’s offer and came to the conclusion that the offer at the rate of Rs 370 is too low. ACC, according to market sources, valued by LIC stood at Rs 500 or above. Initially LIC was reluctant to respond to the Holcim offer.  Other stake holders in ACC are Oriental Insurance with 1.18 per cent and New India with 1.73 per cent.