India: ACC lined up to buy into two cement joint ventures

India: ACC lined up to buy into two cement joint ventures
Published: 24 March 2014


ACC (Holcim) is likely to buy Jaypee Group 74 per cent stake in two separate cement joint ventures with state-owned steel maker Steel Authority of India Ltd, according to the Business Standard.

The two joint ventures are located at Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and Bokaro (Jharkhand) with a total capacity of just over 4Mta. Jaypee Group has been struggling with debts and has been in talks with ACC to hive off some assets. In a BSE filing, Jaypee Group said its Board would meet "to consider stake sale in joint venture subsidiaries".

Last year, the Jaypee Group sold one 4.8Mta cement plant to Aditya Birla Group's UltraTech. It is also in talks to sell its two hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh, mainly to reduce debt. The sale proceeds from the two cement joint ventures with Steel Authority of India Ltd is also said to contribute towards trimming its debt.

Jaypee Group is country's third-largest cement maker. Swiss major Holcim owns a majority stake in both ACC and Ambuja Cement with a combined capacity of around 52Mta in India. Ambuja Cement operates 25Mta capacity with ACC running the balance.