LAFARGE has taken up a position on the Indian cement market. Its acquisition bid for Tisco (Tata Iron & Steel Company Ltd.) cement division has now been approved by the Board of Directors of the Indian group, the national leader in steel production and the flagship of the Tata group. The overall investment will represent an amount of Rs 5.5 billion (roughly FRF 725 million).
The cement division of Tisco has an overall annual production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes. With a cement plant located in the East Madhya Pradesh region and a grinding plant in southern Bihar, Tisco is particularly well positioned on the West Bengal (Calcutta) and Bihar markets.
The Indian cement market, which has experienced average annual growth of 8.5% over the last five years, is the world's fourth largest, with capacity of more than 80 million tonnes. The same growth trend is expected to continue in the medium term, which should raise annual cement consumption to 180 million tonnes by 2008.
This acquisition, which is subject to ratification by the local administrative authorities, forms part of the Asian strategy of the Lafarge Group, which is already settled in China and in South-East Asia. World leader in construction materials, Lafarge employs 65,000 people in 65 countries and records annual sales of FRF 65 billion. It already operates in India in the roofing sector (clay roof tiles), through a joint venture located in the South Indian state of Kerala.
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