Colombia Argos sees acquisition targets in US, Caribbean

Colombia Argos sees acquisition targets in US, Caribbean
Published: 11 March 2009

Colombia’s largest cement company, Cementos Argos is considering buying cement and concrete plants in Latin America, the Caribbean and the US, Colombia’s financial newspaper La Republica said Tuesday.

"We are analysing purchasing possibilities in markets where we are already present as we consider important the vertical integration," said an anonymous source quoted at La Republica.

Cementos Argos sees good opportunities in the Caribbean as Venezuela is no longer exporting cement and concrete there.

The Medellin-based company has COP1trn (US$392m) in cash-flow to carry out the acquisitions.

Part of the funds come from the sale of coal assets to Brazilian mining company Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (RIO), or Vale, for US$300m.

Late last year, Cementos Argos sold two coal concessions as well as a coal port near the Caribbean city of Santa Marta.

Argos will also conclude the construction of its cement plant in the city of Cartagena, Colombia later this year. The plant, at a cost of US$400m, will boost its production by 1.8Mt of cement a year to 13.4Mt.