UltraTech said in talks to buy Jaiprakash cement plants
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UltraTech Cement Ltd, controlled by Indian billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, is in talks to acquire Jaiprakash Associates Ltd’s cement plants in central and southern India, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The company is discussing the purchase of Jaiprakash’s cement plants in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Jaiprakash has at least five facilities in those states with 18.25 million tonnes of production capacity, according to a December presentation on its website.
UltraTech, India’s biggest producer of the building material, aims to boost capacity by 61% to 100 million tonnes in a decade, Birla said in November. Jaiprakash is selling assets after its debt jumped nearly fourfold in the five years through March to Rs.72,600 crore, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.
Jaiprakash has a total capacity of 26.65 million tonnes, according to the presentation. UltraTech hasn’t made a final decision on which plants to acquire and may purchase only some of the assets under consideration, two of the people said.
Pragnya Ram, a spokeswoman for UltraTech, declined to comment. A representative for Jaiprakash couldn’t immediately comment.
Last year, UltraTech agreed to buy a Jaiprakash cement plant in Gujarat with 4.8 million tonnes of capacity for Rs.3,800 crore including debt. Jaiprakash plans to raise as much as Rs.21,180 crore by 15 March by selling cement and power plants, the December presentation shows.