Displaying items by tag: Aditya Birla
India: Kumar Mangalam Birla has said that the Aditya Birla Group will invest US$3.19bn in Gujarat State to ramp up capacities across various existing facilities.
"We will be continuing to grow our businesses here," said Birla. "On the anvil are brownfield expansions at our cement plant in Sevagram, the viscose staple fibre (VSF) plants in Vilayat and Bharuch and expansions of our metal plants, among others. Our investments will be close to US$3.19bn."
He added that Gujarat is the group's preferred investment destination in India. "We're greatly impressed by the proactive approach of Government of Gujarat. I have a personal bias for the state," said Birla. He added that it was not tax sops, but delivery of high-quality infrastructure that makes it the group's preferred state.
India: UltraTech Cement, part of the Aditya Birla Group, is working on environmental clearance for a new US$415m cement plant in Tamil Nadu, according to Indian media. The project will have a cement production capacity of 5.5Mt/yr, a clinker production capacity of 4.5Mt/yr, a 75MW captive power plant (with additional power from diesel generating sets of about 18MW) and a 15MW waste heat recovery facility.
The public hearing for the project was conducted in May 2013 as part of the environment impact assessment and management plan. The plant is intended to two have two production lines. The total project area is about 263 hectares with a plant area of about 86 hectares.
UltraTech is one of the largest cement producers in India with a total capacity of around 52Mt/yr.
India: The talks between Jaypee Group and Aditya Birla Group regarding the sale of the former's Gujarat based cement units have finally moved to the final stages, according to local media. It was reported that valuations of the deal, which had already resulted in failed acquisition attempts by others, have continued to cause delays.
Birla has been negotiating the cost of Jaypee's Gujarat cement units with the aim of paying a total of US$800m. The reports say that Birla had offered to purchase the units at US$160/t of installed capacity. This is significantly lower than the US$200/t paid during deals between Holcim and ACC.
Step forward UltraTech Cement into the vertical rumour mill! The Indian cement producer is the latest company reported as wanting to buy Jaypee Group's cement business in Gujarat. It follows Italcementi, Aditya Birla and CRH, who announced in October 2012 that negotiations had been 'terminated' as the parties had been unable to agree terms.
This time the asking price has risen, with Ultratech allegedly offering US$160-165/t and Jaypee holding out for US$180-185/t. Whilst UltraTech hasn't publicly confirmed the move, it pointedly hasn't denied it either. The Aditya Birla Group subsidiary only commented to the Bombay Stock Exchange that it had not issued any press releases on the subject. Aditya Birla Group itself was reported in October 2012 as pursing interest at US$130/t for Jaypee's 9.8Mt/yr operations in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
Given the number of rumours and cash-rich CRH's very public failure to strike a deal it seems likely that Jaypee has a specific price in mind and it's sticking to it. Prasad Baji of Edelweiss Securities stated in a television interview with CNBC-TV18 that he thought that the cement industry cycle was starting to look up. Crucially he predicted that India's capacity utilisation was set to rise from its current level of 78% to 82% despite price declines in the current quarter.
This is in sharp contrast with Fitch Ratings which rated the Indian cement industry with a negative outlook at the start of 2012 and reports in late May 2012 that capacity ultilisation had actually fallen from 76% to 71%. Since then ICRA Research reported in late September 2012 that it expected Indian capacity ultilisation to stick to 76% for 2012 with prices showing 'resistance' in some regions to cost increases due to rising input costs.
With all this in mind it seems likely that UltraTech will join the growing list of Jaypee's spurned buyers when it fails to reach terms or when the rumours simply fizzle out. However if UltraTech does strike a deal the Indian industry will be the one to watch in 2013. According to data in the Global Cement Directory 2013, an acquisition of nearly 10Mt/yr production capacity would boost UltraTech's capacity to 62Mt/yr making it the 12th largest cement company in the world.
India: Business conglomerate Aditya Birla Group has revived negotiations to purchase cement manufacturer Jaiprakash Associates' cement plants in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
Aditya Birla is reported to have made an offer of up to US$130/t to buy the cement assets of Jaiprakash Associates which have an overall capacity of 9.8Mt. This follows Irish building materials firm CRH decision to cancel talks with Jaiprakash Associates in early October 2012. In August 2012 CRH was reportedly close to buying a 51% equity stake in the Indian cement producer's plants in Gujarat. Top officials from Aditya Birla's cement business and executives from foreign lender Barclays Bank are in talks to finalise the pricing of the deal.
India: Aditya Birla Group is considering buying Lafarge's operations in South Africa to further bolster its presence overseas. The US$35bn conglomerate, which owns India's biggest cement producer Ultratech, is conducting an initial assessment for a possible bid for the Lafarge unit. Lafarge South Africa Holding has a value, comprising both equity and debt, close to US$800-900m according to a report from December 2011. It has a cement capacity of over 3Mt/yr and it operates 20 quarries and 55 ready-mix concrete plants.
The sell-off of its cement operations in the region is part of Lafarge's plans to restructure its global operations through a series of asset sales to retire debt, which currently stands at over US$18bn. Lafarge may also sell off its majority equity holding in Pan African Cement, which has its units in Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.
A spokeswoman for the Aditya Birla Group declined to comment on the report. The group, one of the world's 10 largest cement producers, operates across 36 countries and has recently considered bids for overseas coal assets. Lafarge has also been unavailable for comment.
Another Indian company Shree Cement is also believed to have shown interest in the asset. "We have initially shown some interest in the project but we would not like to comment on the present status," stated an unnamed senior group official.
South Africa: Lafarge, the world's largest cement maker, is rumoured to be seeking a buyer for its cement operations in South Africa in a deal that may fetch US$700-800m. Potential bidders are rumoured to include the Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, the owner of India's largest cement maker, UltraTech Cement Ltd.