LafargeHolcim to exit $150 mn a year cement business in Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim, a materials group, is exiting Sri Lanka’s cement business where it operated the island’s only integrated factory and had annual business volumes of $150 million.

A spokesperson said the decision to sell Holcim Lanka was part of a larger global divestment strategy of the Swiss materials group.

Market sources say at least three Sri Lanka-based firms are vying to buy the firm including a diversified listed company and a politically prominent privately-held business group.

The group has been exiting a number of countries following its merger with Lafarge. In India, Lafarge units are on sale.

Holcim owns Sri Lanka’s only integrated plant that made cement straight from domestic limestone, a grinding plant that used imported clinker, and a bagging plant that uses foreign-made cement.

The Swiss group first tookover a state-run cement factory in Puttalam in the West Coast of Sri Lanka from a Pakistani firm, which bought it during a privatization drive over two decades ago.

The group sold 1.7 million tonnes of cement in 2015 worth about Rs23.4 billion a year, according to published data. (Colombo/June02/2016)
 

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