(Bloomberg) — Billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate is nearing a deal to acquire a controlling stake in Holcim Ltd.’s businesses in India, according to people familiar with the matter, giving Asia’s richest person a foothold in the subcontinent’s fragmented cement sector.
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The Adani Group is hammering out the final details of a $10 billion deal for 63.1% of Ambuja Cements Ltd. along with related assets, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. A transaction could be announced in the coming days, they said.
Bloomberg News reported in April that Holcim was in advanced talks with Adani Group over a deal. Ambuja’s local subsidiaries include ACC Ltd., which is also publicly traded.
Deliberations are ongoing and could still be delayed or falter, according to the people. Representatives for Adani Group and Holcim couldn’t be reached for comment outside regular business hours.
The Adani Group has been moving beyond its core business of operating ports, power plants and coal mines and into areas like data centers, airports, digital services and retail.
A first-generation entrepreneur with a net worth of about $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gautam Adani has been looking to diversify his company into a multi-sector juggernaut like Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. Adani overtook Ambani as Asia’s richest man earlier this year.
The deal for Ambuja will transform Adani Group into a sizable player in the cement sector. Founded in 1983, Ambuja has a cement capacity of 31 million metric tons, and has six integrated manufacturing plants and eight cement grinding units in India, its website shows.
Adani Group’s flagship firm Adani Enterprises Ltd. has two cement subsidiaries. Adani Cementation Ltd. is planning to build an integrated facility in Gujarat, according to a compliance report in November. The group established Adani Cement Ltd. in June 2021.
Switzerland-based Holcim has recently been selling off non-core assets, divesting its Brazilian unit for $1 billion in September and planning to offload its business in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, the company agreed to buy Malarkey Roofing Products in December and Firestone Building Products in early 2021, as Chief Executive Officer Jan Jenisch adds new construction businesses outside of traditional cement.
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