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Adani in USD10.5B deal for Holcim India cement business

MUMBAI (AFP) – Indian billionaire Gautam Adani struck a USD10.5 billion deal to buy Swiss cement giant Holcim’s local business, the companies said, betting on a construction boom predicted in coming decades.

In his biggest acquisition to date, the deal will give coal-to-ports magnate Adani – who vies with fellow Indian Mukesh Ambani for the title of Asia’s richest person – a controlling stake in India’s second-largest cement manufacturer.

“Our move into the cement business is yet another validation of our belief in our nation’s growth story,” Adani, 59, said in a statement on Sunday.

“Not only is India expected to remain one of the world’s largest demand-driven economies for several decades, India also continues to be the world’s second largest cement market,” he added.

The deal marks Holcim’s exit from the Indian market after 17 years and is a part of a global restructuring strategy after the Swiss cement giant’s 2015 merger with France’s Lafarge.