Retail tycoon Radhakishan Damani mulls buying controlling stake in India Cements Ltd
Billionaire stock market investor Radhakishan Damani is mulling acquiring a controlling stake in India Cements Ltd.
Damani who owns Avenue Supermarts Ltd., has made an informal contact with N. Srinivasan, the controlling shareholder of India Cements Ltd., to explore a takeover opportunity, sources in the know told Bloomberg.
Srinivasan owns around 29% stake in the Chennai-based cement maker. He is also considering other investors to stave off any hostile bids. However, Damani has promised an amiable management change, adding that he is not looking at a hostile takeover of the company, the report added.
Meanwhile, no decision has yet been taken on how Damani and Shrinivasan will move forward.
The retail tycoon and his family have been accumulating shares of the cement manufacturer for some months, with their holding surging four-fold this year to nearly 20% as of March 31, according to exchange filings.
Damani currently owns a 10.29% stake (3,18,86,777 shares) in the company, while his brother Gopikishan Shivkishan Damani possesses an 8.26% stake (2,56,01,589) in the cement manufacturer as of March 31, 2020.
India Cements' shares jumped approximately 11% on Wednesday, logging the biggest intraday gain in a month. All on all, the shares of the company that makes construction material surged 92% this year, taking its market value to around $555 million.
The deal, if it concretises, will help Damani branch out his holdings while India Cements would get an investor with deep pockets to brace it against competitors such as UltraTech Cement Ltd. and LafargeHolcim Ltd., the report further stated.
Damani's wealth swelled $2.8 billion this year to $12.5 billion, defying the stock market meltdown due to coronavirus impact, making him the fourth-richest Indian, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index
According to India Cements Ltd's website, the company had 10 factories in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as of 2019.