Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group is looking for acquisitions to start its cement business much before it completes its 4,000-Mw mega power project at Sasan in eastern Madhya Pradesh, which is to provide the fly ash that is used to make cement.
The company has started talks with various small and medium companies through a merchant banker to shortlist acquisition targets.
The group has also appointed Anil Singhvi, former managing director of Ambuja Cements, vice-chairman for Reliance Natural Resources, the company which will set up the cement business.
ADAG's bankers have also held talks with the Mehta group, which has two facilities, Gujarat Sidhee Cement and Saurashtra Cement in Gujarat, with a total manufacturing capacity of 2.3 million tonnes.
An email sent to Jay Mehta, the group's executive vice-chairman, on Friday did not elicit a response. Mehta could not be reached on his office number either.
The coal-fired Sasan project is scheduled to go on stream in 2012-13. But a source familiar with the negotiations said: "The group is looking at the cement business beyond just utilising the fly ash that will be coming out of its Sasan power project."
Initial discussions with Birla Corporation, flagship of the M P Birla group, came to nothing. Birla Corporation has cement manufacturing capacities of 5.7 million tonnes, of which the facility located at Satna, close to Sasan, manufactures 1.5 million tonnes.
ADAG "declined to comment" on queries sent by the newspaper.