Siam City plans to buy Holcim Lanka, but faces headwinds from regulator

Siam City plans to buy Holcim Lanka, but faces headwinds from regulator

LafargeHolcim has signed an agreement with Siam City Cement to sell Holcim Lanka for $400m. Holcim Lanka operates one integrated plant and one grinding plant in the country. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.

However, Sri Lanka´s Industry and Commerce Ministry has expressed its interest in buying the local operations of LafargeHolcim. Government sources have said that discussions are now ongoing within the administration. The company was originally state-owned before it was privatised.

"The government is willing to negotiate to buy it at a reasonable price. This is the only integrated cement plant in Sri Lanka. The limestone quarry in Puttalam belongs to the Cement Corporation and it had been leased out to Holcim," said a spokesman of the ministry quoted by Sri Lanka´s Daily News newspaper.

Seven bidders have made offers for Holcim Lanka. These include companies from UAE, Indonesia, Thailand, China and Sri Lanka. Holcim Lanka´s assets include two packing plants in Galle and Trincomalee.

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