- Radhakishan Damani, the Indian tycoon who built a fortune rolling out his supermarkets across the country, is considering acquiring a controlling stake at India Cements Ltd.
According to people familiar with the matter, Radhakishan Damani, the Indian tycoon who built a fortune rolling out his supermarkets across the country, is considering acquiring a controlling stake at India Cements Ltd.
Damani, Avenue Supermarts Ltd ‘s owner, informally reached out to the controlling shareholder of cement manufacturer, N. Srinivasan, the people said to pursue a takeover, requesting not to be identified as the information is not available.
Srinivasan, who controls about 29% of the Chennai-based cement maker, is also exploring other investors to ward off any hostile bids, the people said, adding Damani has promised a friendly change in management and isn’t seeking a hostile takeover. No decision has been made on how Damani and Srinivasan will proceed, the people said.
A representative for Avenue Supermarts declined to comment, while a spokesperson for India Cements said the information isn’t correct, without elaborating.
Srinivasan, who controls about 29 percent of the cement maker based in Chennai, is also exploring other investors to avoid any hostile bids, people said, adding Damani promised a friendly change in management and is not looking for a hostile takeover. There has been no decision on how Damani and Srinivasan will proceed, the people have said.
A successful deal could help Damani diversify his holdings while India Cements would get a backer with deep pockets to pitch it against rivals like UltraTech Cement Ltd. and LafargeHolcim Ltd.
Raised in a one-room apartment in a Mumbai tenement block, Damani saw his wealth swell to $12.5 billion this year, defying the pandemic-led stock meltdown and making him the fourth-richest individual in India, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
According to their website, the 74-year-old cement manufacturer had 10 factories in Indian states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as of 2019.
Indian detergent maker Nirma Ltd. agreed earlier this year to pay 55 billion rupees ($722 million) to acquire Emami Group’s cement business.
Damani donated some $100 crores to the PM-CARES Fund to counter the coronavirus pandemic. He also donated to many state relief funds with about 55 crores. Damani has contributed to Bright Star Investments, his company business.
“We completely support the swift steps taken by India’s federal, state, and local government bodies to protect the general public. We will need to do our utmost to protect our societies and fellow countrymen,” Avenue Supermarts said in a statement.
“Our founder, Radhakishan Damani, through his group company Bright Star Investments Private Limited, has donated a further $100 to the PM CARES Fund and a further $555 to various state aid funds in this regard,” he said.