Competition Commission of India raids 3 cement firms
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has initiated an investigation against cement companies in India, including ACC and Ambuja Cements.
The anti-trust body had on Wednesday conducted raids at the offices of UltraTech Cement and two subsidiaries of the world’s largest cement maker LafargeHolcim, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.
Swiss-based LafargeHolcim in a statement to Reuters confirmed officials visited the Mumbai offices of ACC and Ambuja Cements and said the companies were fully cooperating with the authorities, but could not comment further as the matter is ongoing.
Several officers of the CCI were involved in search operations conducted simultaneously at multiple locations in India, late into the evening, the sources said, asking not to be named because of the confidential nature of the raids.
Searches were also conducted at Shree Cement Ltd, a third source said.
In a regulatory filing, ACC said it has acted and continues to act in compliance with competition laws and is fully cooperating with the investigation and providing all the necessary information to the authorities.
In a separate filing, Ambuja Cements said it has a “long-standing commitment to fair competition as reflected in its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics”.
Shares of Ambuja Cements and ACC took a beating on news of the raids.
The stock of Ambuja Cements closed at Rs 248.35, 1.80 per cent down after declining 2.96 per cent to Rs 245.40 during the day on the BSE. ACC dipped 1.46 per cent to close at Rs 1,631.95 after it declined 2.24 per cent to Rs 1,619.05 during the day.
Among others, UltraTech Cement shares tanked 3.59 per cent to Rs 4,962.90 and those of Shree Cement 2.91 per cent to Rs 23,705.50 on the BSE.
India is the second-largest cement producer in the world and accounted for more than 8 per cent of the global installed capacity in 2019.