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$2.4bn Birla-Ultratech CCI clearance follows Uberoi from CAM to AZB

Aditya Birla cement competition mandate goes to AZB
Aditya Birla cement competition mandate goes to AZB

AZB & Partners recent lateral partner Nisha Kaur Uberoi has on 8 August obtained phase 1 merger clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for Ultratech Cement’s Rs 16,189 crore ($2.4bn) acquisition of the cement assets of the Jaypee Group.

The filing was made on 29 April 2016, according to the firm’s release, when Uberoi was still competition partner at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM).

However, Uberoi formally joined AZB on 3 August and the competition part of the Ultratech deal moved with her.

As did AZB senior associate Soumya Hariharan and associate Atreyee Sarkar, who had also joined Uberoi from CAM and assisted on the competition aspects of the deal, according to an AZB press release.

It is understood that Cyril Amarchand partner Tushar Mavani led the corporate aspects of the transaction.

Vaish Associates partner Bomi Daruwala acted for Jaypee on the corporate aspects of the transaction.

The cement sector has seen a huge amount of attention from competition regulators in recent years, with Uberoi and CAM having acted for 11 cement companies late 2015 to overturn the CCI’s Rs 6,300 crore penalty before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) with senior counsel Gopal Subramanium.

Clarification: CAM was not instructed by 11 cement companies, but was already acted for the Ambujas and Lafarge in the appeal, when Compat expressed a preference for parties to not repeat arguments. The other cement companies then adopted CAM and Subramanium's arguments.

In December 2014, the Aditya Birla Group’s cement firm Ultratech had bought Rs 5,400 crore of assets from Jaiprakash Associates, on which what-was-then Amarchand Mangaldas advised, with managing partner Cyril Shroff, corporate partner Tushar Mavani and competition partner Uberoi.

The same team acted for Ultratech in its acquisition of Jaypee Cement Corporation’s Gujarat unit for Rs 3,800 crore in 2013.

Aditya Birla is a long-standing client of Shroff’s, with the firm having acted on its cement-related deals going back at least to 2009.

Photo by William Warby

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