India: Nirma to acquire Lafarge India for US$1.4bn

India: Nirma to acquire Lafarge India for US$1.4bn

LafargeHolcim has announced that it has reached agreement with Nirma Group for the sale of Lafarge India. The deal - valued at US$1.4bn - will see Nirma acquire assets that include 11Mta of grinding capacity and several limestone quarries.

Nirma has won out against four other bidders: China’s Anhui Conch, Mexican firm Cemex, and domestic firms JSW Cement and Piramal Group. The Competition Commission of India still needs to approve the move, but given Nirma’s small existing presence in the sector this looks to be a formality.

Nirma’s acquisition of Lafarge India will dramatically increase its production capacity. The company currently operates 2.4Mta of grinding units in Rajasthan, but with the addition of the five Lafarge plants will now become one of the 10 largest Indian producers.

Commenting on the deal, LafargeHolcim chief executive, Eric Olsen, said: “This agreement is an important step in our CHF3.5bn [US$3.6bn] divestment program. With this deal, two thirds of the program has been secured and the remainder of the program is well on track.

“We are confident that we will meet our target by the end of this year. With the proposed buyer we have found the right partner who will be able to develop the business further in the interest of all our stakeholders.”