LafargeHolcim to sell some Indian assets to Birla

LafargeHolcim today said it agreed to sell plants in India to local industrial group Birla to meet a condition imposed by the Indian antitrust watchdog.

The Competition Commission of India in April had ordered Lafarge and Holcim to sell cement plants with a combined capacity of at least five million metric tons a year to gain the agency’s approval for their merger.

LafargeHolcim agreed to sell a package of assets that includes the Sonadih cement plant and Jojobera grinding station in Eastern India, currently operated by its unit Lafarge India. The two plants have a combined capacity of 5.15 million tons. The group retains a capacity of 68 million tons in the country.
The cement maker agreed to shed the assets for an enterprise value of about $768 million. LafargeHolcim said it would use the proceeds of the sale to pay back part of its debt.

The merger of two of the world’s largest cement companies created a giant with annual sales of more than $33.2 billion. Lafarge and Holcim unveiled their tie-up last year. The process to gain approval for the deal from regulators and shareholders took a little more than a year.

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