Three-and-a-half decades after they founded it, Narottam S Sekhsaria and Suresh Kumar Neotia have completely exited as promoters of Ambuja Cements, by selling their 0.79 per cent stake in the company to a unit of Swiss cement major Holcim, the majority owner.
The transaction value has not been disclosed, but the stake sold is valued at Rs 185 crore at on Thursday’s close of Rs 153.65.
After the transaction, the stake held by Holderind Investments, a subsidiary of Holcim, will go up to 40.53 per cent. Ambuja Cement India Limited (ACIL), the local company of Holcim, owns 9.83 per cent in the company. Holcim now collectively owns 50.35 per cent stake in the company.
The other major investors in the company are Life Insurance Corporation (9.23 per cent), Genesis Indian Investment Company (4.44 per cent) and Aberdeen Asset Managers (3.07 per cent).
Radha Madhav Investments Ltd and RKBK Fiscal Services Pvt Ltd, entities controlled by Sekhsaria and Neota, collectively owned 0.79 per cent stake in Ambuja Cements as of September 30, showed the company’s shareholding pattern on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
In January 2006, Holcim bought Gujarat Ambuja Cements (the former name of the company) for Rs 4,500 crore. It acquired 14.8 per cent of the promoters stake in the company for Rs 2,100 crore and bought 20 per cent for Rs 2,400 crore from other shareholders.
Ambuja Cement’s rise to prominence was quick after the families of Sekhsaria and Neotia set it up in 1986 as Gujarat Ambuja Cement Limited. Soon, it went on to become one of the country’s most profitable companies.
ACIL and Holderind Investment also hold 50.01 per cent and 0.29 per cent stake, respectively in ACC, one of the largest cement makers in India.
Ambuja Cements’ stock gained two per cent on Thursday even as the broader BSE Sensex fell 0.28 per cent.