Billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Group on Friday clarified that it is not evaluating any proposal to acquire the cement business of Jaypee Group.

"This is in response to the clarification sought with reference to the subject mentioned news item titled Gautam Adani closing in on Jaypee cement business. In this respect, it is submitted that the company is not evaluating any such proposal and hence we are not in a position to comment on the veracity of said media report," Adani Enterprises says in a stock exchange filing.

In the event there is any development that requires disclosure under SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, the conglomerate further says it will responsibly disclose the same in accordance with the regulatory requirements.

This comes days after the board of directors of Jaiprakash Power Ventures decided to divest the company's Nigrie Cement Grinding Unit as well as other non-core assets.

The Adani family forayed into the cement industry by buying out Holcim's stake in Ambuja Cements and ACC. The value for the Holcim stake and open offer for Ambuja Cements and ACC was around $10.5 billion, making it the largest ever acquisition by Adani.

Earlier this month, shareholders of Ambuja Cements approved all proposals at its extraordinary general meeting, including raising ₹20,000 crore from an Adani group company and the appointment of Gautam Adani and his son Karan Adani, among others on the board of Ambuja Cements.

Meanwhile, operating profitability of cement makers will decline around 15% year-on-year to ₹900-925 per tonne in the financial year 2022-23, as increase in realisations will not be enough to offset the increase in prices of coal, petcoke and diesel that has pushed the average cost of production higher, according to ratings agency CRISIL.

However, the 17% growth in cement demand during the first quarter of the fiscal, albeit on the low base of the previous fiscal (which was hit by the second wave of Covid-19), offers a silver lining, the rating agency said last month.

Though growth may taper in subsequent quarters, and print at 8-10% for the full fiscal, it would still be the highest since fiscal 2019.

The higher demand will mitigate the impact of lower profitability on absolute operating profits and cash accruals of cement makers, cushioning their credit profiles.

"Cement volume growth this fiscal will be driven by non-housing segments, wherein offtake is expected to rise more than 15%. Demand from the infrastructure segment will be aided by government spend, while industrial/ commercial demand will be driven by growing investment in data centres and warehousing, and the low base of the previous fiscal," says Koustav Mazumdar, associate director, CRISIL Research.

Offtake from the housing segment is expected to grow around 5%, taking overall cement volume growth to 8-10%, Mazumdar adds.

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