UltraTech Cement publishes plans for Holcim India bid

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India: UltraTech Cement has taken legal advice for its planned bid for Holcim's Indian business and says that it will volunteer to divest 15Mt/yr-worth of cement assets in order to accelerate the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approval process which would follow on from the acceptance of any offer. The Economic Times newspaper has reported that UltraTech Cement has filed five long form merger notifications for acquisitions of this type since 2013. These included its purchases of Binani Cement and Century Cement, and of Jaypee Group's Gujarati cement assets.

The Financial Express newspaper has reported that fellow contender Adani Group has offered 'more than' US$10bn for the assets, while JSW Group plans to offer US$7bn. BusinessLine Online News has reported that a fourth company, steel producer ArcelorMittal, has also held initial talks with Holcim over the assets.

In considering possible competition issues arising under any future deal, the CCI will factor in planned and upcoming cement capacity. In Gujarat, where Holcim India subsidiaries ACC and Ambuja Cements operate 6.8Mt/yr-worth of capacity, Adani Group plans to build a new 10Mt/yr cement plant at Lakhpat.

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