UltraTech Cement in talks to buy Adhunik MSP Cements Meghalaya plant for Rs 700 crore
The Aditya Birla group, which built the world's seventh-largest cement business largely through acquisitions, is in talks to buy north-eastern cement maker Adhunik MSP Cement's Meghalaya plant for over Rs 700 crore. Group firm UltraTech Cement wants to buy the 1.5-million-tonne unit and bolster its presence in the fast-growing but largely untapped market in the North-East. Due diligence for the unit located at the limestone-rich Jaintia Hills has been completed and the fate of the deal hinges on the availability of some statutory no-objection certificates as mining leases and environmental clearances are prerequisites for any large manufacturing transactions in the North-East, a person familiar with the transaction said. It also hinges on the plans of a multinational company that is believed to be in talks to buy the unit. While the name of the company could not be ascertained, MNCs, including French giant Lafarge, have been trying to make deeper inroads into the North-East. Lafarge's plan to set up a 1.1-million-tonne cement unit at Jaintia Hills is facing some environmental opposition and the firm may want to buy a readymade unit.
The joint venture company, promoted by Kolkata-based Adhunik and MSP group, set up the unit at a total cost of Rs 700 crore in 2010.