Billionaire Gautam Adani-controlled Adani Group is in advanced talks with debt-laden Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd. to buy its cement unit, people familiar with the matter said. The ports-to-power conglomerate could pay about 50 billion rupees ($606 million) for a cement grinding unit and other smaller assets, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The acquisition will be made by one of the cement units recently acquired by Asia’s richest person, the people said, adding an announcement was expected as early as this week. While discussions are advanced, they could still be delayed or fall apart, the people said. Indian news channel ET NOW reported the deal earlier without disclosing a value.
The deal will help consolidate the Adani Group’s sudden dominance in the cement sector, which started after it bought Ambuja Cements Ltd. and ACC Ltd. in May from Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd., becoming India’s second-largest cement maker virtually overnight with an installed production capacity of 67.5 million tons annually. Adani Group representatives declined to comment. Jaiprakash Associates representatives were not immediately available for a comment. The cement grinding facility has a capacity of 2 million tons a year It began operating in October, 2014, in Nigrie in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The board of Jaiprakash Associates has decided to divest the company’s “significant” cement business to help lower debt, according to a stock exchange filing Monday. Separately, Jaiprakash Power Ventures said its board is looking to sell Nigrie cement grinding unit as well as other non-core assets, without naming any prospective buyers. Adani Group said last month it’s looking to expand its cement-making capacity to 140 million tons in five years and plans to inject 200 billion rupees in its newly acquired cement business.