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Amarchand on $2.4bn minority-questionable Ambuja-Holcim merger

Amarchand Mangaldas advised Ambuja Cements in its Rs 3,500 crore buy of 24 per cent in Swiss cement maker Holcim’s India operations, and in Holcim India’s Rs 11,000 crore merger into Ambuja.

Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai partners Ashwath Rau and Vandana Pai Bharucha acted for Ambuja, which will hold 50.01 per cent shares of Holcim India’s subsidiary ACC.

Swiss law firm Homburger AG in Zurich acted for the seller Holderind Investments and Hocim India, which will be dissolved without winding up. As consideration, Ambuja will issue its shares to the shareholders of Holcim India in accordance with the share exchange ratio set out in the scheme.

The Holcim restructuring was brought about because local cement companies in India were experiencing a drop in demand and pressure on earnings, due to a slowdown in home building and infrastructure projects, according to Reuters.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is now examining the terms of the agreement between Ambuja Cements and Holcim to ensure that interests of minority shareholders are protected as corporate governance experts claimed that SEBI norms were not followed properly, reported the Economic Times.

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