UltraTech eyeing assets of Lafarge

UltraTech eyeing assets of Lafarge

UltraTech Cement has put in bids for cement units of Lafarge and Holcim in Brazil. UltraTech had identified Brazil as a major place for expansion three years ago. The company had appointed former Hindalco company secretary Anil Jhala as the country head to evaluate opportunities. When Lafarge and Holcim unveiled their plans to join hands, competition watchdogs asked the entities to sell multi-billion assets. To comply with the requirements, the merging entities plan to sell units with an enterprise valuation of close to $6.3 billion.

Several companies have already approached Lafarge and Holcim for these assets and have placed their bids. The Birla group move is part of its overall plan to increase cement capacities to 70 million tonne per year by early 2016 from 63 mtpa. UltraTech acquired the cement unit of Jaypee Group last year. The group concluded 36 acquisitions in 20 countries since Kumar Mangalam Birla came to the helm in 1995 after the untimely death of his father. Since, Aditya Birla group´s acquisition of the Lafarge-Holcim assets India will lead to monopoly in these markets it is seeking to purchase assets in the growing markets of Brazil and the Philippines, which are investing heavily in infrastructure and housing.

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