Millennium Post

Swiss LafargeHolcim to sell India assets to Nirma for $1.4 bn

“LafargeHolcim announces it has entered into a letter of agreement with Nirma Ltd subject to approval by Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the divestment of its interest in Lafarge India for an enterprise value of approximately USD 1.4 billion,” it said in a statement.

Ahmedabad-based diversified group Nirma has presence in soaps, detergents, salt, soda ash, caustic soda, cement, packaging, etc. It has 12 manufacturing facilities in India and the US and has a turnover of over Rs 7,300 crore.

The agreement, part of the building material major’s 3.5 billion Swiss franc (about USD 3.6 billion) divestment plan, is key to get approval of the fair trade regulator Commission of India for the multi-billion dollar merger between Lafarge and Holcim that was announced last year.

“The proceeds from the divestment will be used to reduce debt further,” the world’s largest cement maker said. Lafarge India operates three plants and two grinding stations with a total capacity of around 11 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). It also markets aggregates and manufacturers ready-mix concrete.

LafargeHolcim Chief Executive Officer Eric Olsen said: “This agreement is an important step in our 3.5 billion Swiss franc divestment programme. With this deal, two thirds of the programme has been secured and the remainder of the program is well on track.

We are confident that we will meet our target by the end of this year. With the proposed buyer we have found the right partner who will be able to develop the business further in the interest of all our stakeholders.”  
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