Colombia Cementos Argos seeks acquisition targets in US

Colombia Cementos Argos seeks acquisition targets in US
Published: 28 April 2008

Colombia’s largest cement maker, Cementos Argos SA, is seeking new acquisitions in the US, chief executive Luis Alberto Velez said Friday in a conference call.
"We are looking at opportunities in the US to consolidate our presence," Velez told investors and analysts during a conference call.
Cementos Argos may try to take advantage of the trouble facing some of the company’s US rivals amid a construction-industry slump there, said Rupert Stebbings, a Medellin-based analyst with local brokerage Interbolsa.
Argos already operates in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, where it bought cement companies and ready-mixed concrete suppliers in the past years. The company spent a little less than $700m on its acquisitions in the US.
The company had announced Thursday it is evaluating the sale of part of its coal business. Stebbings said Cementos Argos may use the proceeds of its sales to acquire other companies in the US.
At the same time, Velez said Cementos Argos started the process to list its shares in New York.
"There is no specific date or amount (of the shares to be listed)," said the company official, though.
The only Colombian company with a full ADR listing in New York is the country’s largest bank, Bancolombia SA (CIB).
Argos and its subsidiaries have plants in Panama, Haiti, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Inversiones Argos SA, a holding company belonging to Colombia’s largest conglomerate, Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno, controls Cementos Argos.
Cementos Argos reported earlier this week its net profit in the first quarter rose five-fold from the same period a year ago to US$42m.