The Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) has stayed the order of antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) against two entities which were found guilty of cartelisation. The orders were in favour of Jaiprakash Associates and the Cement Manufacturers´ Association (CMA).
Both the entities have to deposit 10 per cent of the penalties in fixed deposits of six-month duration with its registry.
On 7 November, COMPAT had similarly stayed CCI orders against Shree Cement and ACC Ltd. The cases may be heard next on 7 December.
Jaiprakash and CMA had appealed before the tribunal against CCI´s 31st August decision, which found 11 cement firms and CMA guilty of cartelization.
CCI had imposed penalties of Rs 1,147.59 crore on ACC, Rs 1,163.91 crore on Ambuja Cements, Rs 167.32 crore on Binani Cement, Rs 274.02 crore on Century Cement, Rs 397 crore on Shree Cements, Rs 187.48 crore on India Cements, Rs 128.54 crore on JK Cements, Rs 490.01 crore on Lafarge, Rs 258.63 crore on Ramco, Rs 1,175.49 crore on UltraTech Ltd and Rs 1,323.60 crore on Jaiprakash Associates. CMA was hit with a penalty of Rs 73 lakh.
LafargeHolcim increases its stake in ACC, Ambuja
It is one of the major deals by a promoter in the recent times. Holderind Investments, the investment company for the Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim, bought 78.7 crore shares of ACC, representing 4.2 per cent of the global cement major´s total equity capital. The average price in the deal was Rs 1,537, with the total deal valued at Rs 1,209 crore. The two transactions, managed by Axis Capital, were executed through block deals on the BSE. The sellers were a clutch of mutual funds, insurance companies and FIIs, sources said.
Post this deal, the total holding of Holcim in ACC has gone up to 54.3per cent. Of the 78.7-crore share block of ACC shares, Nomura India Investment Fund sold 9.86 lakh, or 0.5 per cent of the company at an average price of Rs 1,538 per share.
In another deal, Holderind Investments bought 3.91 crore shares of Ambuja Cements, which is nearly 2 per cent of the company´s equity capital, hiking its total holding in the company to 63.62 per cent .Despite the huge block being bought by the promoter of the two companies, the stock prices of ACC and Ambuja Cements, both closed sharply lower later in the day. Ambuja Cements lost 4.3 per cent to close at Rs 210 while ACC closed 3.7 per cent lower at Rs 1,347.Dealers said with the government demonetising Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, there is a fear among investors that consumption-led sectors, which include cement, will suffer in the next two-three quarters, and hence the strong selling in these counters.
In a statement issued late on Tuesday from Zurich, LafargeHolcim said India was one of its key markets with ´very solid long term fundamentals and a clear potential for further improvement in business performance.´ The day´s share purchases in ACC and Ambuja Cements ´would further increase the group´s interest in its two strong companies which constitute a solid platform from which to capture future growth,´ the statement said. The purchase value will be financed by a CHF 325 million debt. Currently the group´s total annual capacity in India is 60 million tonnes.
Workers mobilize globally against LafargeHolcim human rights´ violations
The IndustriAll Global Union federation of workers in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas will mobilize and demand that LafargeHolcim respect workers´ rights because´Workers´ rights are human rights´.
Workforce at LafargeHolcim are holding a global day of action in advance of the 10 December International Human Rights Day to draw attention to the world´s largest cement maker´s widespread violations of workers´ rights.
Rights violations that the action will highlight include: