Adani to Inject $2.5 Billion in Cement Arm Son Will Now Helm
Ambuja Cement Ltd. will issue 477.48 million warrants to Harmonia Trade and Investment Ltd.
(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Gautam Adani will inject 200 billion rupees ($2.5 billion) into a cement firm and get his son to oversee this newly acquired business, as the world’s third-richest man seeks to strengthen his infrastructure empire that includes ports, utilities and power generation.
“What makes cement an exciting business is the headroom for growth in India, which exceeds that of every other country well beyond 2050,” Adani said in a statement Friday, adding that group’s diverse businesses provide “unmatched adjacencies” for the cement business.
Ambuja Cement Ltd., a company Adani Group acquired in May, will issue 477.48 million warrants to Harmonia Trade and Investment Ltd. -- a company linked to the Adani family -- at 418.87 rupees each, according to a stock exchange filing Friday, in what is one of the biggest preferential allotment for any Indian firm. Each warrant can be converted into one share each within 18 months of issuance.
Adani was appointed a board director and chairman of Ambuja Cements. His elder son, Karan Adani, 35, will be a director on the boards of both Ambuja Cements and ACC Ltd. as well as be ACC’s chairman.
The ports-to-power conglomerate went from being a fringe player to India’s second-largest cement maker after it bought these two companies from Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd. in May for $10.5 billion -- Adani’s biggest acquisition so far. The acquisition gave Adani’s group an installed production capacity of 67.5 million tons annually.
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The recent announcements show that the tycoon is making the cement units a growth engine for his empire, fortifying a logistics chain that includes seaports, airports, real estate and coal. Adani has been rapidly diversifying beyond his traditional fossil-fuel roots to branch into data centers, digital services, telecom and media.
Besides bringing in his son, the Indian billionaire is also planning to enlist key senior executives to help grow the cement business and mentor Karan, Bloomberg reported earlier Friday. The scion is also expected to find synergies between the group’s ports and cements businesses in order to create an integrated logistics firm, they said.
Gautam Adani has surged to prominence this year, as an eye-popping leap in his fortune made him one of the richest people on the planet in a matter of months, leapfrogging compatriot Mukesh Ambani and titans like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. He’s now gaining on world No. 2 Jeff Bezos.
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A combination of soaring coal prices and skyrocketing equity gains fueled the wealth surge, which has enabled his conglomerate to supercharge its ambitions and diversify at breakneck speed. The tycoon is also making a $70 billion bet on green energy, a shift that’s been criticized by some as an attempt to greenwash the group’s coal focus.
Adani Group’s position as one of the largest renewable energy companies globally will facilitate manufacture of “premium quality green cement,” the billionaire tycoon said in the statement.
“All of these dimensions put us on track to become the largest and most efficient manufacturer of cement by no later than 2030,” he said.
(Updates with Adani’s quotes in the second paragraph.)
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