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Rediff.com  » Business » Holcim's offer for GACL delayed

Holcim's offer for GACL delayed

March 25, 2006 04:06 IST

Swiss cement maker Holcim's open offer to acquire 20 per cent stake from the shareholders of Gujarat Ambuja Cements is delayed.

Priced at Rs 90.64 per share, the offer was scheduled to open on March 25. Holcim was to come out with the offer after acquiring 14.8 per cent stake from the GACL promoters, the Seksharia-Neotia combine.

Merchant banking sources said the delay was due to technical reasons. A merchant banker said, "The Securities and Exchange Board of India has sent an observation letter to the company on some technical irregularities. But this shouldn't take much time to clear."

However, the exact reason for the delay could not be ascertained. GACL Managing Director Anil Singhvi could not be reached. Two e-mails sent to him failed to elicit any response.

GACL's closed at Rs 96.5 on the BSE, up 0.31 per cent from the previous close.

In a deal that was said to be one of the most expensive in the global cement industry, Holcim had in January bought a 14.8 per cent promoters' stake in the GACL for Rs 2,142 crore.

The world's second largest cement maker's open offer to buy 20 per cent is said to be worth Rs 2, 520 crore at Rs 90.64 each. The promoters, the Sekhsaria and Neotia familes, continue to hold eight per cent stake in the company.

Following the transfer of control to Holcim, Narotam Sekhsaria resigned as Managing Director and was appointed as non-executive director and vice-chairman of the company. Whole time director Anil Singhvi took over as the managing director.

Holcim holds one-third stake in in Associated Cement Companies.
BS Corporate Bureau
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