Shares of India Cements rallied 10 per cent to ₹269 on Friday after their were unconfirmed reports that UltraTech Cement has emerged as the leading suitor for the company’s project in Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier, India Cements hit the upper circuit for the day at ₹270 against the previous close of ₹246.

The company’s project in Madhya Pradesh with the limestone mine is valued at about ₹800 crore. The company had earlier planned to set up a 3-million tonne per annum integrated cement plant on 700 acres at the site.

India Cements was also in talks with JSW Cement, Birla Group and Adani Group for the sale of the cement plant but has zeroed in on UltraTech Cement as it offered a better deal, said sources close to the development.

The company was planning to reduce its long-term debt with proceeds from the sale. India Cements had net debt of ₹3,039 crore as of March-end.

UltraTech shares up

UltraTech Cement, owned by the country’s largest cement producer Aditya Birla Group, has a capacity of 115 mtpa and is expanding it further by 42 mtpa across the country. It has cash surplus of ₹5,290 crore as of June-end. Shares of UltraTech Cement were up one per cent at ₹6,250 on Friday.

Ranked among one of the oldest Indian corporates, India Cements was established in 1946 by SNN Sankaralinga Iyer and TS Narayanaswami, the company set up its first cement plant in 1949 at Sankarnagar (Talaiyuthu).

From just a two plant company with 1.3 million tonnes in 1989, India Cements has grown in the last two decades to have a capacity of 15.5 mtpa. It has eight integrated cement plants in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan and two grinding units, one each in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

India Cements through its wholly-owned subsidiary Springway Mining and Nkja Mining purchased 184.53 hectares of limestone bearing lands at Pawai Tehsil, Panna district and 68.55 hectares of land for setting up a cement plant at Gaisabad Tehsil, Damoh District in Madhya Pradesh. Environmental clearance for Pawai mines has been obtained and process for obtaining environmental clearance for setting up plant is in progress, said the company in its latest annual report.

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