HeidelbergCement says it’s in ‘intensive talks’ with investors

HeidelbergCement says it’s in ‘intensive talks’ with investors
Published: 20 March 2009

HeidelbergCement AG said it’s in “intensive talks” with potential investors and extended a deadline to reorganise finances.

The economic slump is causing negotiations to take longer than usual, Chief Executive Officer Bernd Scheifele said at a press conference in Heidelberg, where the company is based. It plans to sell as much as EUR2bn (US$2.7bn) in assets to help pay back debt and now aims to complete the financial reorganization by year-end instead of by midyear.

The suicide of main shareholder Adolf Merckle in January introduced fresh doubt about the company’s future as his family struggles with debt. Scheifele said today the company is talking to all types of possible investors, including public wealth funds and financial as well as family investors.

“It’s an enormous challenge to restructure the financing in this environment,” Chief Financial Officer Lorenz Naeger said at the press conference.

HeidelbergCement plans to sell assets outside its main business of cement, aggregates and concrete, the CEO reiterated today. Steel piping and brick operations as well as businesses in countries including Israel, Liberia and Ghana may be sold, he said.

Source: Bloomberg News