Armenia cement plant sold to Russian company

Armenia cement plant sold to Russian company
Published: 18 August 2008

A Russian industrial group has acquired one of Armenia’s two cement plants located in the central town of Hrazdan, according to an Armenian news agency.

The Arminfo news agency based the report on an unnamed source close to the Mika-Cement company owned by Mikhail Baghdasarian, a Russian-Armenian businessman close to President Serzh Sarkisian. It said the cost of the company’s takeover by Russia’s RATM Holding is not yet known.

A spokeswoman for Baghdasarov declined to confirm or deny the information, saying only that he has been negotiating with foreign investors interested in the Hrazdan plant.

Mika-Cement was put up for sale last month as part of Baghdasarov’s stated plans to concentrate on one of his businesses in Armenia, the Armavia national airline.

Like the other Armenian cement plant based in the southern town of Ararat, Mika-Cement has greatly benefited from recent years’ construction boom that has been the driving force behind the country’s double-digit economic growth. Both plants also export a large part of their production to neighbouring Iran and Georgia. Their output could rise further in the coming years given Russia’s intention to import Armenian cement for large-scale construction work in its southern city of Sochi that will host the winter Olympic Games of 2014.