Holcim plans to substantially increase its stake in Ambuja Cements in India

08.23.2007
 

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN, INTO OR FROM THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA AND JAPAN


Holcim plans to further expand its 32.3 percent stake in the Indian Group company Ambuja Cements Ltd (ACL) and acquires from the founding families another 3.9 percent of ACL at INR 154 per share corresponding to approximately USD 220 million. The purchase is subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank of India. The families will continue to hold a stake in ACL. They will stay closely engaged with Holcim and the company, and will further support the growth and development of Holcim's position in India. Suresh Neotia will continue as Chairman and Narotam Sekhsaria as Vice Chairman on the Board of Directors of ACL and will play a significant role for the benefit of the company.

With the purchase of this block of shares of ACL Holcim exceeds the limit of 5 percent per fiscal year and is obliged to make an offer to the other shareholders according to the Indian takeover code. Therefore, the Group will launch a public takeover offer for another 20 percent of the share capital at a price of INR 154 per share. Subject to the approval of the Indian authorities, Holcim expects this transaction, worth a maximum of around USD 1.12 billion, to be concluded by the end of November 2007. The offer price represents a premium of approximately 20 percent over the average price of the share on the National Stock Exchange for the last two weeks.

Provided that the public offer is accepted in full, Holcim's stake in ACL will rise to more than 56 percent. The corresponding total investment of USD 1.34 billion would be financed entirely through internal resources and existing credit facilities.

India is the second largest cement market worldwide with high growth potential. ACL as a leading cement supplier in India, will increase its annual cement capacity from 18 to 21 million tonnes by the end of the year. An additional 5 million tonnes are under construction in Bhatapara (State of Chhattisgarh) and Rauri (Himachal Pradesh), which will come on stream in 2009.


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Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.
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Legal Notice:
Important Notice regarding Ambuja Cements Ltd: The offer for the shares in the Ambuja Cements Ltd will be made in compliance with the Indian Takeover Code, as supervised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Investors outside of India are advised to consult their legal and financial advisers as to whether, and under what circumstances, they are allowed to tender their shares and accept payment of the purchase price in the offer. The offer is not being made, directly or indirectly, in or into, or by use of the mails or any means or instrumentality (including, without limitation, facsimile transmission, telephone and internet) of interstate or foreign commerce of, or any facilities of a national, state or other securities exchange of, European Economic Area, United States of America, Canada, Japan, Australia or any jurisdiction where it would be unlawful to be made and the offer will not be capable of acceptance by any investors residing in, or from, the European Economic Area, United States of America, Canada, Japan, Australia or any jurisdiction where it would be unlawful to be made, unless an exemption applies under applicable law. Accordingly, copies of this announcement are not being, and must not be, directly or indirectly, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in, into the European Economic Area, United States of America, Canada, Japan, Australia or any jurisdiction where it would be unlawful to be made and persons receiving this announcement (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not mail or otherwise distribute or send it in, into or from European Economic Area, United States of America, Canada, Japan, Australia or any jurisdiction where it would be unlawful to be made, unless an exemption applies under applicable law.

 
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