Grapevine: UltraTech, others bid for Emami cement assets; Macquarie may exit Soham
Photo Credit: Reuters

Emami Group’s cement assets received four binding offers from Aditya Birla flagship UltraTech, Nuvoco Vistas (formerly Nirma Cement), Ambuja Cements, which is a LafargeHolcim company, and Star Cement, people in the know told The Economic Times.

UltraTech and Nuvoco are the most aggressive for the potential billion-dollar buyout of the eight million tonne per year business, the people added, asking not to be named. 

Emami Group last year decided to monetise its cement assets for around Rs 7,000 crore (990 million at current exchange rate) to become debt-free at the group level by the end of this financial year. The cement company had a total debt of Rs 2,247 crore as of March 31, 2018.

The sale includes all the assets and mining leases on 300 million tonnes of limestone deposits that would last for 60 years. The company has four units in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal.

East is a fragmented market, with UltraTech, LafargeHolcim and Dalmia Bharat each having 17% share. Nirma has 10% of the market, while Shree has a 14% share. Taking over Emami would mean an additional 8% slice of the market. Even though Shree and Dalmia Bharat both looked at the prospect along with Heidelberg, they refrained from submitting a binding offer, persons mentioned above said.

Meanwhile, Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie group is looking to exit Bengaluru-based hydropower developer Soham Renewable Energy India Pvt. Ltd, two people aware of the development told Mint.

In November 2011, Macquarie had invested Rs 375 crore in Soham with a follow-on investment of Rs 25 crore in March 2015.

“The sale is part of Macquarie’s plans to exit investments from the first fund,” said the first person.

“They are also running a process to sell road assets housed under Ashoka Concessions Ltd, where they have invested with Ashoka Buildcon, and to exit GMR Airports, where they now have a residual stake,” he added.

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