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ArcelorMittal intends to acquire Holcim’s stake at over $10 bn

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Holcim owns 63%, 50.02% stakes in Ambuja Cement, ACC, respectively

The stake of Holcim Group in Ambuja Cement and ACC Cement combined has intensified, with ArcelorMittal showing interest in acquiring the asset valued at over $10 billion.ArcelorMittal emerged as a formidable contender in Holcim Group. Its entry into the cement business will enable ArcelorMittal to establish brand recognition in India and complement the steel business.Holcim can extract a premium from the new entrants into the cement business as it will make it the second-largest producer in India.Ambuja Cement and ACC have a combined production capacity of 66 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), which will increase to 80 mtpa after completing the ongoing expansion projects.Holcim holds a 63% stake in Ambuja Cement and a 50.05% stake in ACC.Since September, Holcim has been selling its non-core assets and divested its Brazilian unit for $1 billion.Ambuja Cement reported a 30% decline in the March quarter, with net profit at Rs 856 crore, compared to Rs 1,228 crore, even as its income increased 3% to ₹7,990 crore from Rs 7,812 crore.The net profit of ACC was down by 30% to ₹396 crore from Rs 563 crore, while its net sales increased by 3% to Rs 4,322 crore from Rs 4,213 crore.ArcelorMittal is competing with other firms, including Adani Cement and JSW Group, for acquiring Holcim stakes. Other players are UltraTech Cement and Shree Cement.JSW Group has offered $4.5 billion in its own equity share and $2.5 billion jointly with private equity partners.ArcelorMittal, with the acquisition of Essar Steel assets, has been bullish on investment in India. This year in March, it entered into a strategic partnership with Greenko Group to develop a 975 MW renewable energy project at Rs 4,570 crore in Andhra Pradesh.This project is estimated to complete in two years. After completion, it will provide uninterrupted green energy to ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel (AM/NS) India for 25 years.

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Also read: Holcim Group to sell Ambuja Cement and ACC Ltd

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Kesoram to boost cement capacity to 15 MT in next 3-4 years

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The firm’s overall outlay would be between Rs 350 and Rs 500 crore

Kesoram Industries Ltd, a B K Birla Group subsidiary, announced that it plans to increase its cement production capacity to 15 million tonnes (MT) from 11 MT.

Kesoram, which has demerged its tyres and rayon businesses, is on course to make a profit in the current fiscal year (FY).P Radhakrishnan, whole-time director & CEO, told the media that they have chosen to increase cement capacity to 15 MT in phases over the next 3-4 years, up from 10-11 MT.

The overall outlay would be between Rs 350 and Rs 500 crore.He said that the company’s financials would improve in the next quarters as debt reduce and low-cost funds refinance. He added that in 2022, they will turn profitable on a net basis.

Radhakrishnan said they are always attempting to reduce their interest cost to enhance the financial situation. This year, they want to discharge the debt of Rs 500-600 crore and refinance a portion of the total existing debt (Rs 300-400 crore) with low-cost funds to reduce interest costs.With high-cost Optionally Convertible Debentures (OCDs) and Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs), the business has an outstanding debt of Rs 1650 crore, down from over Rs 2000 crore a year earlier.

The B K Birla group firm also stated that it is shifting its product mix to include more value-added cement, which would increase its EBITA by another Rs 150 crore in the next two years, bringing it to over Rs 950 crore yearly.

An offcial stated that they’re always adding mixed cement to their inventory and plan to increase this to 80% in two years from currently 50%.Kesoram planned to increase capacity by one million tonnes by de-bottlenecking and then add a kiln to the existing facility to decrease capital expenditures.

After weighing all possibilities, the firm will shortly begin accepting fixed deposits, which would help the company get closer to its target of Rs 200 crore.

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Also read: Ramco Cements plans for at least Rs 1,200 cr capex in two years

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Cement demand to rise mid-to-high single digits in medium-term

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Capacity utilisation to fall to 65% in cement industry: Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings told the media that it believes a sustained gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the government’s thrust on infrastructure and affordable housing, and revival of corporate capex will underpin the growth in the cement industry.

It expects India’s cement demand to increase by mid-to-high single digits over the medium term after an estimated mid-teen rebound in FY22.The cement industry’s utilisation will drop to 65% from 70%, estimated in FY22, as faster new capacity additions will outpace demand growth.

It will temper cement producers’ pricing power, and the industry will consolidate further.

Fitch Ratings said Adani Group’s aggressive approach to cement capacity expansion after it acquired Holcim Indian business. It will result in increasing the competition in the industry.

The increased prices by cement producers will not fully counter the energy prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

It said that the cement producers’ per tonne margin in FY23 will stay much below the pandemic level in FY21 when low energy prices increased profit despite having low demand.

Major cement industries reduced financial leverage since FY20 to support financial flexibility despite lower profitability and plans for higher capital expenditure (capex) expansion.

Fitch Ratings added that the impact of inflationary pressure on cement demand from the Russia-Ukraine war had been limited, but downside risks might increase if macroeconomic conditions deteriorate significantly.

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Also read:India’s coal imports likely to grow in 2022: Fitch Ratings report

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Adani Group’s Holcim acquisition doubles India Inc’s deal to $19.1 billion

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The sale was worth roughly $7.965 billion a year earlier in May 2021

The $10.5 billion acquisition of cement major Holcim by Adani Group has more than doubled India Inc’s deal value to $19.1 billion in May 2022, with 190 deals. The sale was worth roughly $7.965 billion a year earlier in May.

Mergers and acquisitions, a private equity landscape, and public market activity such as IPOs are all part of the deal.

According to the Grant Thornton Bharat report, the overall transaction value decreased by 59% in May compared to April due to the $40 billion merger agreement between HDFC Bank and HDFC that was struck in April.

Adani Group and Holcim signed a formal deal last month to buy a 63.11% share in Ambuja Cement, which has a 50.05% holding in ACC, as well as a 4.48% direct investment in the company. The deal should be completed in the second half of 2022.

Apart from the Adani-Holcim agreement, the Grant Thornton study included Reliance and Bodhi Tree’s $2 billion investment in Viacom18 in May. In addition, 13 more high-value purchases worth more than $100 million totalled $5.1 billion in the month under review.

In terms of volume, there were 190 deal transactions in May, up from 120 in the same month the previous year. In addition, volume climbed by 3% over the prior month.

Shanthi Vijetha told the media that start-up, e-commerce, and IT dominated the transaction volumes for the month, while manufacturing, media and entertainment, and energy topped the overall value.

In May 2022, there were roughly 40 merger and acquisition transactions worth $11.9 billion, with more than a fourth of them coming from the startup sector, which saw 11 agreements for $70 million.

Furthermore, the research stated that in May, private equity investments reached new highs in terms of value and number, totalling $7.2 billion across 150 agreements, representing a 169% increase in value and an 81% increase in deal volume.

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Also read:Adani Group acquires 63.19% stake in Ambuja Cements and ACC

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