A worker carries a sack of cement under a conveyor (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)

Birla, Dalmia Are Said to Be Lead Bidders for Binani Cement

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla and an investor group led by Dalmia Bharat Ltd. are emerging as the lead bidders for India’s Binani Cement Ltd., which is being sold under the country’s insolvency process, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Birla’s UltraTech Cement Ltd. and the Dalmia Bharat consortium have each made cash offers of around 60 billion rupees ($936 million), the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. As part of that, they have agreed to pay back secured lenders who are owed about 40 billion rupees, according to the people. UltraTech and the Dalmia Bharat consortium are among six suitors that submitted final offers, the people said.

Shares of Binani Industries Ltd., the parent company of Binani Cement, were up 5.8 percent to 113.55 rupees at 12:05 p.m. in Mumbai Wednesday, the most since Dec. 28.

The bids from UltraTech and Dalmia Bharat varied in the way they would address the 25 billion rupees owed to unsecured creditors, said the people. They also differed in the size of equity stake they offered creditors, one of the people said.

A new Indian bankruptcy law designed to clear out distressed assets has set off a contest for more than 4 trillion rupees ($63 billion) of deals and has spurred interest from both foreign and domestic companies and funds. JSW Group, HeidelbergCement AG and a consortium including local private equity firm True North and Ramco Cements Ltd. also submitted final offers for Binani Cement, the people said.

Billionaires Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Radhakishan Damani together also made an offer for Binani Cement, according to the people. Dalmia Bharat is bidding with India Resurgence Fund, which is backed by Bain Capital Credit and local conglomerate Piramal Enterprises Ltd., the people said. JSW has also put in an aggressive bid, one of the people said.

Representatives for Ramco, True North and UltraTech declined to comment. Representatives for Binani, Dalmia Bharat, Jhunjhunwala, JSW, India Resurgence Fund and Heidelberg didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.