The Gujarat Ambuja group, which had entered a strategic alliance with the world’s second largest cement maker, Holcim, to make an open offer for ACC, has quietly divested its 7%-plus shareholding in Hyderabad-based Priyadarshini Cements, now known as Rain Commodities. GACL, which had acquired the shares in the Reddys-controlled Southern cement manufacturer some years ago, recently sold the shares through the stock market. The shares were held by Gujarat Ambuja Cements and GACL Finance. GACL executive director Anil Singhvi confirmed that the group sold its shareholding in Rain Commodities in the secondary market for Rs 31/33 per share.
"For us, it was just a portfolio investment. We decided to exit the company as we got a good valuation for the shares," said Mr Singhvi. The Gujarat Ambuja group would have made over Rs 5 crore through this divestment. The group had bought these shares some years ago for around Rs 20/21 per share.
Mid-cap cement firms have hogged the limelight in recent months, and the share price of the loss-making Rain Commodities has also appreciated significantly. This is despite the fact that the cement industry in the South has been under-performing due to lacklustre demand and over-supply. The Gujarat Ambuja group had acquired shares in Priyadarshini Cements when it was exploring the idea of entering Andhra Pradesh. Subsequently, however, the company decided against setting up a greenfield unit there. It currently caters to the Andhra market through its 2.6Mt Chandrapur facility in Maharashtra.