Jaiprakash Associates to sell Bokaro cement unit to Dalmia Cement for Rs960 cr

Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, more popularly known as JP Associates, is likely to sell its 74-per cent stake in the Bokaro cement unit to Dalmia Cement for around Rs960 crore, reports quoting sources close to the development told the media.

Debt-laden JP Associates, which last year sold its 4.8 million tonnes capacity cement assets in Gujarat to Kumarmanglam Birla Group company Ultratech is in the process of selling its two other cement units.

The board of directors of the group at its meeting is reported to have decided to sell the Bokaro unit to Dalmia Cement. There was, however, no confirmation of the decision.

JP Associates' Bokaro cement unit is a joint venture in which state-owned steel maker Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) holds a 26-per cent equity stake. It has an annual capacity of 2.1 million tonnes.

A deal, however, is subject to the approval of SAIL, its joint venture partner in Bokaro, Jaiprakash said after a board meeting.

The JP group also holds a similar 74 per cent stake in another joint venture with the Bhilai Steel Plant of SAIL and the sale of that stake is likely to be put on hold for now. The Bhilai unit has a production capacity of 2.2 million tonnes per annum of cement.

The Jaypee Group is also in talks to sell its two hydro-power projects in Himachal Pradesh mainly to reduce debt.

The sale proceeds from the two cement joint ventures with SAIL is also said to be towards trimming its debt.

Jaypee Group is country's third largest cement maker.

Swiss major Holcim owns majority stake in both ACC and Ambuja Cement with a combined capacity of around 52 MTPA in India. Ambuja Cement has 25 MTPA capacity and ACC the rest.

The company's subsidiary Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited had on 3 March announced the sale of the Baspa Stage II and Karcham Wangtoo hydro power-electric plants with combined capacity of 1392 megawatts (MW) to a consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PSJC (TAQA).