Cemex says all creditors support debt deal

Cemex says all creditors support debt deal
Published: 11 August 2009

Mexico’s Cemex said on Monday all its creditors have indicated they will support a proposal to refinance US$15bn of debt maturing over the next two years.

In the toughest market in its century-long history, Cemex has been under immense pressure to reach a deal to extend debt it took on to finance its acquisition of Australia’s Rinker in 2007.

"Cemex is currently in the documentation phase. Conditions ... related to the agreement are expected to be completed soon," Cemex said in a statement.

Cemex had said at the end of July that 90 per cent of its creditors backed its plan to refinance the US$15bn debt through 2014.

But fears it would fail to satisfy creditors have weighed on Cemex since last year when the global credit crisis made it harder for even the largest emerging market companies to borrow in dollars.

As the world’s biggest economy struggles through its worst recession in decades, Cemex expects cement volumes to fall by up to 30 per cent this year in the key U.S. market and prices are also under pressure.

Limping through the global slowdown, Cemex’s revenue fell 33 per cent in the second quarter to US$4.2bn.

Shares of Cemex slipped 0.64 per cent to close at 14.09 pesos before the company announced the progress on its debt negotiations.

Cemex operates in 50 countries and competes globally with Switzerland’s Holcim and France’s Lafarge.
Scrambling to raise cash, Cemex agreed in June to sell its Australian operations to Holcim at a fire-sale price of US$1.6bn, about half what it paid in 2007.

But Cemex’s efforts to sell its Austrian assets have faltered after Vienna-listed Strabag pulled out of a US$435m asset deal to buy Cemex units.