Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has signed a share purchase agreement with Birla Corporation, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd has agreed to sell its cement assets to Birla Corp. Ltd for Rs.4,800 crore as part of the Anil Ambani-led company’s efforts to pare debt and expand its new defence manufacturing business.
Under the transaction, Birla Corporation will acquire the 100 per cent shareholding of RInfra in RCCPL.The transaction is subject to approval of the Competition Commission of India and other applicable regulatory approvals, RInfra said. Reliance Infra, in an intimation to the exchanges on November 4, 2015, had said that it is in the process of selling its cement business, as well as monetising its investment in the roads business. Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group has been trying to sell assets across its group companies to cut debt and expand its new defence business. RInfra in November announced plans to sell its cement and road business to focus on its new defence venture. The company’s cement assets are spread across four states: an integrated unit in Madhya Pradesh and grinding units in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
The announcement comes two days after LafargeHolcim ended discussions with Birla Corp. for the sale of its east India assets of 5.15 million tonnes, citing regulatory issues. Birla Corp. had entered into an agreement with LafargeHolcim to buy its east India assets in August for Rs.5000 crore. Reliance Group could reduce debt by more than 40% if its asset sale plan goes through and the funds raised are used to pare borrowings. If the sale programme is successful, it will also be the largest amount raised by any of the debt-ridden conglomerates this year.