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Discuss ACC-All news related to this company within the Company Profiles & News !! forums, part of the Mirror View - Ebooks Links & Miscellenous Reading Material category; Ups & Downs TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2005 12:35:03 AM] News that Ambuja Cement Eastern (ACEL) may be ...

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ACC-All news related to this company - September 5th, 2005

Ups & Downs
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2005 12:35:03 AM]
News that Ambuja Cement Eastern (ACEL) may be merged with ACC by Holcim, which holds a stake in both, saw both the scrips end the week on a differing note. While Ambuja Cement Eastern’s price fell during the week, ACC’s gained.
The logic for the transaction is, of course, that Holcim can indirectly consolidate its stake in ACC. Ambuja Cement India, in which Holcim owns a majority stake, has a 35% stake in ACC against its desired level of 50%. Gujarat Ambuja has, however, denied that any merger is intended.
Using their current market prices as an indicator would imply six shares of ACEL will get one share of ACC. That’s a dilution of about 17% in ACC’s equity capital. This is commensurate with a 15% rise in ACC’s profit after the merger, based on the June ’05 quarter results.
Over the years, Ambuja Cement’s performance has been improving and it has also been helped by higher cement demand in its key markets in the Eastern region that has led to firming up of prices.
The 1:6 merger ratio will leave Holcim, through ACIL, holding over 40% stake in ACC. It can thus move closer to its 50% target without too much effort, and avoid having two operating companies and the associated hassles. Any cost savings as a result of the merger will be the icing on the cake.
ACEL’s share price falling itself may have nothing to do with the merger valuation. With hopes of a reverse book-building process receding, there is no upside for the residual shareholders in ACEL.






Holcim may merge ACC with Ambuja Cement Eastern, conveys plan to Sebi
[ TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2005 02:00:58 AM]
MUMBAI: Swiss cement giant Holcim is learnt to have indicated to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) that it is weighing the option of merging ACC — in which it owns 34.7per cent through majority-held Ambuja Cement India (ACIL) — with Ambuja Cement Eastern (ACEL).
Holcim’s plan, it is learnt, was conveyed to the markets watchdog after it clarified that ACEL, in which ACIL owns 95per cent, needs to shore up its public shareholding — which is way below the mandatory 10per cent — in case it wants to remain a publicly-listed entity.
Although ACEL has a year’s time to increase the public shareholding, Holcim has apparently made it clear that the need to do so may not arise as it does not see the need to have two listed firms in India, and would work towards amalgamating them. An e-mail sent to Holcim on the proposed merger did not elicit any response.
Apart from the regulatory compulsions, however, the move to marry ACC with ACEL would serve another crucial purpose: Holcim, which failed to make ACC its subsidiary through an open offer, could end up with a 50per cent shareholding in the merged entity given the fact that the Holcim-controlled ACIL holds a 95per cent stake in ACEL, which also has a fairly large capital base. The exact shareholding, however, would depend on the swap ratio.
ACEL’s share capital at Rs 193.3 crore is higher than that of ACC at Rs 179.6 crore, and this would allow Holcim to use the former’s large capital base as a currency to shore up its shareholding in the merged entity. ACEL’s cement capacity however is just around 2m tonne, as against 18m tonne of ACC. ACIL, which owns stakes in both ACC and ACEL, is 67per cent owned by the Swiss firm, while the balance 33per cent is owned by Gujarat Ambuja Cements, the country’s fourth largest cement producer.
ET had earlier reported on April 28 that Holcim was looking at merging ACC with ACEL. Holcim spokesperson Ronald Walker had then said: “We are still in the process of completing the acquisition of ACC stock tendered under the open offer. As such it is premature to discuss future options for increasing stake in ACC. Specifically, a potential merger between ACC and ACEL is not under consideration at this time.”
However, now that ACIL’s open offer for ACEL has not made any tangible change to the latter’s shareholding — the open offer made in June received hardly any response — industry observers believe that the move to merge ACC and ACEL could now gather momentum. Moreover, with ACC and ACEL having a strong presence in the eastern region, a merger will bring in a lot of synergies and augur well for shareholders, say analysts.
Holcim, which was targeting a shareholding of 50per cent in ACC through the open offer, fell short after it failed to get the desired response from shareholders.
Industry observers say that the creeping acquisition route — which allows a promoter to buy 5per cent in the company every year — could be a little tedious as Holcim would then have to wait another three years to hit the magic figure of 50per cent in ACC.
A creeping acquisition would delay Holcim’s plans to consolidate ACC with its worldwide operations. And after pumping in $518m in India already, Holcim may not want to wait that long.




ACC sells refractory biz to ICICI arm
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2005 02:45:36 AM]
MUMBAI: As part of its strategic plan to exit non-cement businesses, ACC on Wednesday reached an agreement with ICICI Venture Funds to sell off its refractory business for Rs 257 crore, in what is possibly the largest 100% buyout by a private equity fund in India.
ACC chairman Tarun Das told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that ACC—which is now controlled by the Holcim-Gujarat Ambuja Cements combine—would stay focused on cement and concrete, and non-core businesses would not form part of its long-term growth plan.
“The refractories business was clearly not our core business. We would focus only on cement and concrete and look at ways to increase our marketshare,” he told shareholders. The company’s board, which on Wednesday, ratified the financial results of the quarter ended June ‘05, has also decided to change the financial year to January-December as against April-March currently, with a view to aligning its operations with Holcim. As a result, the current fiscal would be a nine-month period ending December ‘05.
The Swiss cement giant, along with Gujarat Ambuja Cements, holds 34.7% in ACC and have declared that they are currently the company’s promoters.
On Wednesday, ACC announced a 72% rise in net profit for the quarter ended June 30, 2005, to Rs 139.4 crore, up from Rs 81.2 crore in the corresponding three month-period last year, backed by improved realisations and higher volumes.
Sales turnover rose 19% to Rs 1,128.3 crore, while sales volume jumped 13% from 3.9 million tonne to 4.4m tonne during the period.
The company’s board meeting and subsequent annual general meeting was attended by Holcim nominees, Markus Akermann and Paul Hugentobler, who were elected as additional directors.
Akermann, who is the CEO, and a member of the board of directors of Holcim worldwide, wants ACC to grow cement capacities through de-bottlenecking at its existing plants. “India is among the fastest growing markets for cement. We would expect ACC to grow by 8-10%,” he said. Akermann was, however, non-committal on whether Holcim-controlled Ambuja Cement India—which holds 34.7% in ACC—would increase its shareholding further. “We are happy with our current stake,” is all he had to say.
According to ACC managing director ML Narula, the company will focus on exiting its three remaining non-core subsidiaries—ACC Machinery Company, ACC Nihon Castings and Everest Industries. “We have been looking at divesting the refractories business for quite sometime. Now that we have got a good price for that, we would now look at divesting the other non-core businesses as well,” Narula added.
ACC will now demerge the Rs 240-crore refractories division, currently a part of the cement company. The company will seek shareholders approval through a postal ballot and expects the divestment to be completed in three months. ICICI Securities advised ICICI Ventures on this transaction.
According to Tarun Das, ACC—which has earmarked a capex of Rs 600 crore this year—will emerge a much stronger cement maker following the strategic alliance with Holcim. “We plan to grow together and increase our profitability together,” he says.





Hoechner is ACC's new CIO
ABHINABA DAS
[ TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2005 12:05:43 AM]
MUMBAI: ACC, the country’s second-largest cement maker, has appointed Felix Hoechner, chief executive of Holcim Services (Asia), as its new CIO with immediate effect. Mr Hoechner, who will head the 20-member information technology department, will report to the company’s MD ML Narula. Govind Mani, VP, ACC and the current head of the IT department will henceforth report to Mr Hoechner. The move comes after Holcim acquired around 34.7% in ACC through the majority-owned Ambuja Cement India.
Markus Akermann, CEO of Holcim and Paul Hugentobler, member of the executive committee, are already on the ACC board.
ACC’s whole-time director AK Jain confirmed the appointment of Mr Hoechner. “Mr Hoechner joined the company as CIO and will report to the ACC MD,” Mr Jain said.
The appointment of Mr Hoechner is significant, as he is the first operations professional from Holcim to join ACC, after the Swiss major emerged as promoter of the country’s second-largest cement maker.
Ambuja Cement India (ACI), which is 67%-owned by Holcim, owns 34.7% in ACC. Gujarat Ambuja Cements, the fourth-largest domestic cement manufacturer, owns the remaining 33% in ACI.
For the cement industry effective logistics management plays a critical role in bringing down costs, thanks to the high-volume, low-value nature of the commodity, and ACC is now looking at replicating Holcim’s experience in bringing down its cost of production.





Turf play: ACC aims to firm up presence in East
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, MAY 08, 2005 11:32:15 PM]
MUMBAI: With the entry of Swiss giant Holcim as promoter-shareholder, ACC — the country’s second largest cement maker — is now aggressively looking at acquisition opportunities to expand its presence in the eastern region, which has over the years been the home turf for French cement giant Lafarge in India.
As part of its strategy for the eastern markets, which has been the fastest growing region, ACC will now work in tandem with Ambuja Cement Eastern, which is currently 95%-owned by Holcim-controlled Ambuja Cement India (ACIL).
ACIL, which is 67% owned by Holcim, owns 34.7% in ACC, following the completion of its open offer. Gujarat Ambuja Cements, the fourth largest player, controls the remaining 33% in ACIL.
ML Narula, MD, ACC, said: “We are exploring opportunities to strengthen our presence through acquisitions. We are a strong player in the eastern and southern regions and are now keen to further augment our position there.”
Mr Narula was, however, non-committal when asked whether the company’s plan to take the acquisition route is part of Hocim’s strategy for India. “Holcim has become a major shareholder in ACC only recently. It’s premature to talk about Holcim’s plans for ACC. We will however now work closely with ACEL, in critical areas like benchmarking,” he added.








Holcim may merge ACC with Ambuja Eastern
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2005 12:04:07 AM]
MUMBAI: Swiss cement giant Holcim, through the majority-owned Ambuja Cement India (ACIL), may have emerged as the ‘promoter’ of ACC with a 34.6% stake, but it isn’t resting easy just yet.
In a bid to augment its shareholding in the country’s second largest cement maker to over 50% — which would turn ACC into its subsidiary in India —Holcim may soon be looking at the option of amalgamating ACC with Ambuja Cement Eastern (ACEL), sources said.
Given the fact that the Holcim-controlled ACIL holds a whopping 95% stake in ACEL, which has a fairly large capital base, Holcim could comfortably cross the half-way mark in ACC, following a merger. However, the exact shareholding would depend on the swap ratio.
Interestingly, ACEL’s share capital at Rs 193.3 crore is higher than that of ACC at Rs 179.6 crore, and this would allow Holcim to use the former’s large capital base as a currency to shore up its shareholding in the merged entity.
This may not be imminent though. The Holcim-controlled ACIL’s open offer for ACEL is currently pending with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi), and Holcim would push for the merger only after it completes the open offer for ACEL.
ACIL, the vehicle through which Holcim made the open offer for ACC, is 67% owned by the Swiss firm, while the balance 33% is owned by Gujarat Ambuja Cements, the country’s fourth largest cement producer.





Holcim gets just 20% more in ACC after open offer
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2005 12:17:28 AM]
MUMBAI: Swiss cement major Holcim has picked up an additional 20% plus stake in ACC, with its open offer, which came to a close on Monday, falling short of its target.
With this, Holcim, through Ambuja Cement India (ACIL), will now hold around 34% in ACC, the country’s second largest cement maker. Before the offer, ACIL held 13.8% in ACC. Holcim, through its 67%-owned arm, ACIL, had made an open offer for an additional 36.4% in ACC at Rs 370 per share.
The offer, if fully subscribed, would have raised the shareholding of Holcim-Ambuja combine in ACC to a controlling 50.2%.
Life Insurance Corporation, the largest institutional shareholder in ACC, on Monday offloaded 5% in the open offer, while retaining 10.7%. Other financial institutions, including UTI, also tendered part of their holdings. FIIs, which hold over 23%, have sold a small part of their shareholding. u Related report on P 8
“The open offer generated a decent response, with ACC shareholders owning around 21% tendering their shares. Although the full details are still not available, LIC has tendered shares aggregating 5% in ACC towards the open offer,” Gujarat Ambuja Cements’ wholetime director Anil Singhvi said.






FIs to sell one-third of ACC stake in open offer
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, APRIL 08, 2005 12:14:28 AM]
MUMBAI: With the Holcim open offer for ACC coming to a close on Monday, shares have started trickling in. Domestic institutional investors are set to tender around one-third of their shareholding in the open offer, while a large number of the 42,000-odd minority shareholders, owning around 9% of the ACC shares in physical form (not demated), are also likely to participate, sources familiar with the matter said.
Sources close to the offer expect around 25% of shares to be tendered. Holcim, through its joint venture arm Ambuja Cement India, has made an open offer for a 36.4% stake in the country’s second largest cement maker.
Even a 25% subscription, which the acquirers are expecting, would take Ambuja Cement India’s holding in ACC (currently at 13.8%) to just below 40%. Ambuja Cement India, a holding company, has a 94% stake Ambuja Cement Eastern, besides the 13.8% stake in ACC. However, if the open offer is fully subscribed, the shareholding of Holcim-Ambuja combine in ACC will surge to a controlling 50.1%.
LIC has already indicated to the acquirers that they would tender around 5.7% of its shareholding in ACC, out of the total 15.7%, in the current open offer. Besides, UTI, along with the state-owned general insurance firms — Oriental Insurance and New India Assurance — are likely to part with another 4-5% stake.









ACC looking at Chinese market
PTI[ FRIDAY, DECEMBER 03, 2004 10:54:41 AM]
BEIJING: The Associated Cement Companies Limited, India's foremost manufacturer of cement, is scouting for business opportunities in China as well as cooperative projects in third countries, senior company executives said in Beijing on Friday.
"We have identified China as a major market for business opportunities even though it is the world's largest producer of cement," ACC senior vice-president, overseas projects, VJ Anantharaman said.
ACC, one of the leading Indian companies currently participating in the second "Made In India Show" organised jointly by the CII and the Indian Embassy here, has made some initial breakthrough in the Chinese market and is confident that the company can cement some tie-ups in the booming market here, he said.
Though China is the world's leading producer of cement with some 400 million tonnes, most of the country's plants were using "obsolete" technology, Anantharaman told PTI.
Cement produced by using outmoded means, such as vertical shaft kiln production units, accounted for 75 per cent of China's total cement output in 2003, the Chinese media reported recently.
In China, ACC has done an appraisal of the scheme for modernisation of Chinese cement plants prepared by the Asian Development Bank, Manila.
At the same time, India, the second largest producer of cement with some 130 million tonnes, is using energy-efficient technology, which could be "ideal" for Chinese cement companies who are planning modernising, he said.
Moreover, ACC's environment management division has created world-class air pollution control systems, equipment and consultancy services which could also be of use to China, Anantharaman said.
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