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LafargeHolcim to sell two Indian cement plants worth 750m francs

LafargeHolcim to sell two Indian cement plants worth 750m francs

BERN: Swiss-based cement giant LafargeHolcim said Monday that it was selling some of its operations in India to Birla Corporation Limited for 750 million francs (€692 million, $767 million).

The move comes after the July merger of Lafarge and Holcim to create the world’s largest cement company, and “the proceeds will be used to further reduce debt,” it said in a statement. The deal with Birla is subject to the approval of the Indian regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

“As announced in April 2015, LafargeHolcim has received conditional clearance from the CCI,” the company said, adding that it was divesting in assets including the Sonadih cement plant in central India and another plant

The two sites can produce up to 5.15 million tonnes of cement a year, less than a tenth of the group’s capacity in India. The €40-billion merger between the French construction group Lafarge and its Swiss rival Holcim was tied up in mid-July after 15 months of negotiations. The merged company employs some 136,000 people globally, with annual sales of €32 billion and underlying profits of €6.5 billion.