PE biggies among 10 cos in fray for Anils cement unit

PE biggies among 10 cos in fray for Anils cement unit

Cement companies Heidelberg, India Cement, Shree Cement, Birla Corp and JK Cement, besides bulge bracket private equity players Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR, are in the fray to acquire Reliance Cement, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure, promoted by billionaire businessman Anil Ambani.

The 5.6 mn t cement plant is expected to be sold in a transaction valued at over Rs 6,000 crore, in a sector witnessing a muted increase in deal making. Birla Corporation recently bought Lafarge´s assets at $150 per tonne - similar to the valuation being pegged for the Reliance Group´s cement assets. Sources close to the deal said Morgan Stanley has been appointed the banker for the transaction, which has reportedly also shortlisted a bunch of global majors such as CRH and Cemex. The move is seen as part of the Reliance Group´s plans to sell its non-core assets to deleverage it balance sheet and adopt an `asset light´ strategy. The deal is expected to be concluded before the year-end. A Reliance spokesman, when contacted, declined to comment on the deal. However, at the AGM of Reliance Infrastructure last week, Ambani had hinted at the possibility of selling the cement business.

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