Holcim which recently announced big acquisition plans in India and the UK, plans to expand its position in the Chinese market as well, Chief Executive Officer Markus Akermann said Thursday. "We today hold around 24 per cent in Huaxin Cement and we hope we can increase it to a majority at a certain point in time," Akermann said in a speech at a financial conference in Zurich. Holcim is interested in building modern, high-capacity plants, also outside the Shanghai province where Huaxin Cement Company Ltd is based, he said.
The world’s biggest cement market, dominated by hundreds of small players partly for ideological reasons, will consolidate over the years, Akermann said. "There used to be a philosophy that each Chinese community has to have a steel plant and a cement plant," Akermann said. These low-capacity, low-quality cement plants will disappear over time once the government takes action, Akermann said. Akermann indicated that any big acquisition on top of Holcim’s two running takeover projects could mean the company would have to raise fresh capital.