ACC likely to buy Jaypee's stake in two cement JVs with SAIL

Cement maker ACC is likely to buy Jaiprakash Associates Ltd's (JAL's) 74 per cent stake in two separate cement joint ventures with state-owned steel maker Steel Authority of India (SAIL).

The Swiss building material major Holcim-controlled ACC has been in talks with the debt-ridden JAL for quite sometime and an announcement in this regard including the consideration is likely to be made by evening today, sources said.

Earlier in the day, JAL in a BSE filing said its Board would meet during the day "to consider stake sale in joint venture subsidiaries".

A JAL official said the meeting is to consider whether to sell company's 74 per cent stake each in the two cement joint ventures with SAIL located at Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and Bokaro (Jharkhand) with a total capacity of a little over 4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

An ACC spokesperson, when contacted, said,"As a matter of policy, we do not comment on market rumour."

The Jaypee Group had last year sold its 4.8 mtpa capacity cement plant to Aditya Birla Group's Ultratech. It is also in talks to sell its two hydro-power projects in Himachal Pradesh mainly to reduce debt.

The sale proceeds from the two cement joint ventures with SAIL is also said to be towards trimming its debt.

Jaypee Group is country's third largest cement maker. Swiss major Holcim owns majority stake in both ACC and Ambuja Cement with a combined capacity of around 52 mtpa in India.

Ambuja Cement has 25 mtpa capacity and ACC the rest.

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