Dalmias have sold a part of their personal equity holding in OCL (formerly Orissa Cement) to a group firm Dalmia Cement (Bharat) at the market price for around Rs 177 crore. Dalmia Cement, which held as much as 21.7% as of December 31, 2009, has hiked its stake in OCL India to 45.4%. The transaction will not trigger the open offer clause as it is part of inter se transfer within the promoter group.

As of December end, total promoter holding in OCL India was 69.77%, of which around 47% was owned by promoters directly and the balance through public listed firm Dalmia Cement (Bharat).

The transaction also allows the promoters to take a step further to consolidate two separate cement firms. Dalmia Cement is present in southern parts of the country while OCL largely operates in eastern region.

Although Dalmias are still far behind the top national cement players such as Birla’s Ultratech and Holcim(ACC and Ambuja Cement), these two cement firms together will have capacity of 14.3 million tonnes including 5.3 million tonnes of OCL India.

In a statement issued today, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) said, the acquisition cost at $50 a tonne is much below the replacement cost of a cement plant. Besides cement, OCL India also has a refractory business which contributes about a quarter to its total revenues.

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