Lafarge sells US units for US$760m to Cementos Argos

Lafarge sells US units for US$760m to Cementos Argos
Published: 12 May 2011

Lafarge announces the sale of its cement and concrete assets in the southeast United States to the Colombia-based conglomerate Cementos Argos for an enterprise value of US$760m.



The assets acquired include:
-  Roberta cement plant, Alabama (capacity: 1.6Mta)
-  Harleyville, South Carolina (1.1Mta)
-  grinding unit in Atlanta, Georgia (500,000tpa)
- 79 ready mix plants in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida (3.3Mm3 per annum)
- 347 ready mix trucks
- five rail terminals (three in Georgia, one in Mississippi, and one in North Carolina)
- a terminal with port facilities in Mobile, Alabama. 

The total revenues of these divested businesses were approximately US$240m in 2010, Lafarge noted in a statement.  
 
After completion of the deal, subject to the approval of competition authorities, Lafarge’s North America operations will consist of 21 cement and grinding plants with a combined capacity of 19Mt, as well as significant positions in our other product lines.   
 
Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge, said: "North America is an essential pillar for the Group, where we have the ambition to be the undisputed leader in the building materials industry. This transaction creates value for our shareholders while maintaining a strong network of operations for future growth in North America".

If the purchase is approved, Argos’ installed capacity in the U.S. would reach 3.2Mt of cement and about 10Mm3 of ready mix per year. Argos’ total installed capacity in the countries in which it has presence would reach 16Mt of cement and 14Mm3 of ready mix per year.

Argos will then become the second largest cement producer in the southeast United States. The company also becomes the fourth largest ready mix producer in this country and a leader in the ready mix market in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston, relevant urban centers in the south United States.

“The purchase of these assets has two relevant aspects in line with the Company’s strategy: first, the location fits perfectly with Argos’ existing footprint in the southeast of the United States; and second, the acquisition of cement plants and rail terminals enables the Company to generate significant synergies by consolidating its vertical integration strategy within its existing ready mix operations”, said José A. Vélez, CEO of Cementos Argos.

“This is a long term strategic acquisition and, given the demographics and demand projections of the states in which Argos is investing, the assets acquired will become a very important source of value for our company,” Mr Vélez added.