Reliance Infra to sell cement business to cut debt

New Delhi: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure will sell its cement business as part of plans to cut debt through sale of non-core assets.

As many as 10 global companies have been sounded for 100 percent stake of Reliance Cement, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure, sources privy to the development said.

These include CRH, Cemex, Heidelberg, GE, Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR. Local majors Indian, JK Cement and Prism too may be interested, they said.

Reliance Group has appointed Morgan Stanley as banker to scout for buyers for Reliance Cements.

Sale of cement business is aimed at reducing debt by selling non-core assets. Reliance Infra’s debt stood at around Rs 25,100 crore at March 31.

Sources said Ambani had announced plans for exiting non-core business at the company’s annual general meeting on September 30.

The sale, Reliance Infra believes, will help bring down debt by 20-25 percent.

It is looking at a valuation of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore for Reliance Cement, which has an annual capacity of 5.6 million tons.

Reliance Cement started operations in 2007 and has plants at Maihar in Madhya Pradesh (2.8 million tons per annum capacity), Kundanganj in Uttar Pradesh (2.2 million tons) and Butibori in Maharashtra (0.5 million tons). It is also developing a 5 million tons per annum greenfield project at Wani in Maharashtra.

At recent purchase value of Lafarge assets by Birla Corp for over USD 150 per ton, Reliance Cement will have a minimum value of over Rs 6,000 crore.