India: Six foreign and domestic cement companies, along with one private equity firm, have expressed interest in buying the assets that Lafarge is divesting in India before it closes its merger with Holcim. The bids were in excess of US$627m.
The deadline for submitting non-binding bids for the assets expired on 16 May 2015. Ahead of that deadline, local media reported that bids came from Shree Cement, Chettinad Cement, HeidelbergCement India, The Ramco Cements, CRH and Blackstone Group.
As a precondition to clearing Indian leg of the LafargeHolcim, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) directed Lafarge to sell two of its assets in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. These are a cement plant at Sonadih, Chhattisgarh and a grinding plant at Jojobera, Jharkhand, with a total capacity of approximately 5Mt/yr. In its directions, the CCI said that Lafarge should sell its assets 'to relatively smaller players, having an installed capacity of less than 5% of their total capacity in the relevant geographic market.'
With the non-binding bids in, Lafarge is likely to shortlist bidders by the middle of June 2015. The deal is likely to be concluded in July 2015.