28 September, 2020

Concrete Gains

Swiss giant Holcim's acquisition of ACC is a win-win deal for Gujarat Ambuja

Madhu Kapparath
Concrete Gains
Anil Singhvi is an avid tabla player and devotes whatever free time he has, at least a few hours every Sunday, to this pursuit. The last month and a half though, he says, he was on a different beat, one necessitated by his responsibilities as the executive director and head of finance at Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd. During this period, he may have strung together a composition whose chorus is more riveting than the lead vocal, the side strains more mellifluous than the central piece.

The idea is not to undermine the central piece. The elaborate tie-up that Gujarat Ambuja has forged with Holcim Ltd, the world's second largest cement company, will eventually give the Swiss company control of ACC, India's second largest cement company, at a cost of $800 million (see box). It is the biggest acquisition of an Indian company by a multinational, a watershed.

More significantly, however, Singhvi, who steered negotiations on GA's behalf, even as Holcim was aided by investment bank DSP Merrill Lynch and law firm Amarchand Mangaldas, has made the best of a potentially sticky...


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