BlackRock tells CSN to abandon Cimpor deal

BlackRock tells CSN to abandon Cimpor deal
Published: 26 January 2010

CSN Brazil’s third-largest steelmaker, should abandon plans to buy Cimpor as shrinking economies in Spain and Portugal cut cement consumption, BlackRock Inc. said.

The Rio de Janeiro-based metals company offered EUR3.86bn (US$5.5bn) Dec. 18 for Lisbon-based cement producer Cimpor, which generates about 38 per cent of sales in Spain and Portugal. After Cimpor rejected the bid, Brazilian rival Camarga Correa made a counter offer, prompting analysts to speculate CSN would increase its proposal to win control.

Construction demand shrank after the steepest recession in Spain in 60 years sent home prices lower for a seventh consecutive quarter. CSN, as the company is known, needs to focus on producing iron ore and steel to meet increased purchases from China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, said William Landers, who helps manage $8 billion of Latin American assets at BlackRock in Plainsboro, New Jersey.

“We’d prefer CSN not to do this diversification,” said Landers, who declined to specify how many shares of CSN his firm holds. “We’re not enamored with CSN gaining exposure to Europe. It should concentrate on emerging markets and its core businesses of steel and iron ore.”