Baring Asia in talks to invest $240 mln in Lafarge India-sources

MUMBAI, April 30 Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:26am EDT

MUMBAI, April 30 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Baring Asia is in advanced talks with the Indian arm of French cement maker Lafarge SA to invest about $240 million for a minority stake, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Lafarge, which has four cement plants in the country, is raising capital in the Indian arm to fund expansion, one of the sources said.

The deal is likely to be announced soon, said the sources, who declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Baring Asia and Lafarge declined to comment.

Globally, Lafarge has been shedding non-core assets to cut its debt. Lafarge was looking to sell its South Korean unit, according to a local media report in December..

Lafarge started its India operations after buying out Tata Steel's cement business in 1999 and buying Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro's ready-mix concrete business in 2008. ($1 = 0.7634 euros) (Reporting by Indulal PM; additional reporting by Stephen Aldred in Hong Kong; editing by Tony Munroe)