UltraTech-JAL $2.5 bn cement plant deal likely by June 2017

UltraTech Cement's Rs 17,000 crore proposed acquisition of Jaiprakash Associates's cement plants is expected to be completed by June 2017, a top official from the Aditya Birla Group's flagship firm has said.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 01, 2016, 18:59 PM IST
UltraTech-JAL $2.5 bn cement plant deal likely by June 2017

New Delhi: UltraTech Cement's Rs 17,000 crore proposed acquisition of Jaiprakash Associates's cement plants is expected to be completed by June 2017, a top official from the Aditya Birla Group's flagship firm has said.

UltraTech had announced the acquisition of debt-ridden JP Group's cement plants for nearly Rs 17,000 crore (about USD 2.5 billion) few days back, making it the biggest deal in the sector, which will also place India's largest cement maker in the top five global producers upon completion of the deal.

"We have to ink definitive agreements and get permission from the High Courts. This will take time. The firm expects the agreement to be finalised in the next 12-15 months. Expect it to consummate by June 2017," UltraTech Cement Chief Financial Officer Atul Daga said in a concall with analysts.

UltraTech is also looking at alternative routes in case the proposed amendments in Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act does not happen, Dada told analysts yesterday.

Last month, government took views from public, states and industry on amending the MMDR Act to include provisions allowing transfer of captive mines granted through procedures other than auction.

Mines Ministry has prepared the draft Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to amend Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

As part of consultations, government invited suggestions from public, state governments, mining industry and entities concerned, on the draft bill. The last date for sending comments and suggestions was January 26.

The transfer of captive mining leases, granted otherwise than through auction, would facilitate banks and financial institutions to liquidate stressed assets where a company or its captive mining lease is mortgaged.

The move will allow M&As worth billions of dollars in the domestic market, especially in the cement sector where several such deals are stuck.

UltraTech Cement had said it has entered into a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JAL for the acquisition of its identified cement plants having a total cement capacity of 22.4 MTPA (million tons per annum).

These plants are situated in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Under the deal, the cement plants have been valued at Rs 16,500 crore. Besides, the deal also includes a 4 MTPA plant under implementation at a cost of Rs 470 crore.

Upon consummation of the proposed transaction, the firm's cement capacity will rise to 90.7 MTPA from the current 68.3.

The plants will give UltraTech access to newer markets of Satna, UP East, Himachal Pradesh and Coastal Andhra where it does not have a presence as of now.

UltraTech said the deal will aid the firm as the cement industry is expected to recover from the slump and the demand is likely to rebound to 7.5 percent on the back of improving infrastructure spending and urbanisation.