The 280 million tonne cement industry has witnessed a few mergers and acquisitions in 2010. ACC, India's second largest cement manufacturer, has acquired stake in two smaller cement companies, a 100 per cent stake in Encore Cement and Additives and 45 per cent Asian Concrete and Cement. These acquisitions although are small but are interesting from distribution cost, logistics cost and market rational point of view. Holcim Group has started strengthening its stake in ACC through the creeping acquisition route. Ambuja Cements and three other Holcim entities have raised their stake in the company by 2.01 per cent to 48.21% through open market transactions in December. It is also understood that Gujarat Sidhee, Saurashtra Cement and Andhra Cement are also waiting for good valuation to get acquired.
Further French cement maker Vicat SA, bought 51 per cent stake in Bharathi Cement of Hyderabad, promoted by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Meanwhile,
Experts opined that would have been more M&As, but the deals were stuck due to higher valuations. Hyderabad- based Penna Cement and Nagpur-based Murli Cement are still scouting for strategic partner and are negotiating with a foreign cement manufacturer for a possible takeover.
Private equity fund KKR has invested Rs 750 crore in a wholly owned subsidiary of Dalmia Cement, and Jaypee Cement was reported to be buying a controlling stake in Pune-based Zawar Cement's defunct grinding unit at Wadi, in Karnataka.