French cement major Lafarge today said it would consider mergers and acquisitions among other options to boost its share in the market.
"Lafarge India is committed to growing in the domestic market in India and we will look at value added organic and inorganic opportunities that offer us a strategic fit," a company spokesperson told PTI.
Lafarge had forayed in India with the buy out of Tata Steel's cement business, followed by acquisition of Raymond Cement facility in 2001, and acquisition of infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro's ready-mix concrete business in 2008.
Now, the company is understood to have initiated talks with Meghalaya-based "Star Cement" for buying a majority stake and also with Chennai-headquartered Madras Cements' for its grinding unit in West Bengal.
The Lafarge spokesperson, however, refuted to comment, saying," We do not comment on market speculation". An analyst tracking the cement sector said that Lafarge is in fact carrying out due diligence to acquire a majority stake in Star Cement, a brand promoted by Cement Manufacturing Company (CMCL).
Century Plywoods holds over 70% stake in CMCL, a leading cement player with 1.2 million tonnes capacity in Meghalaya, the state where Lafarge recently gets the Supreme Court nod for carrying out limestone mining.
The analyst said that there are at least two other firms who have also evinced interests to buy stake in CMCL. The capacity of Madras Cements' grinding unit located at Purba Midnapore in West Bengal could not be obtained.
With 10.49 million tonne per annum making capacity, Madras Cements is the fifth largest cement maker in the country. It has three grinding units.