Cemex at controls US$17bn Rinker takeover

Cemex at controls US$17bn Rinker takeover
Published: 20 June 2007

Cemex has taken control of the Rinker board as the $17bn deal -- Australia’s biggest ever corporate takeover – moves into its final stages. 
After a seven-month battle, Hector Medina was yesterday appointed Rinker chairman as the cement giant’s shareholding in Rinker broke through 60 per cent. 
Mr Medina said the existing businesses were "under review" to squeeze savings out of merging the two companies’ operations. 
But in the short term, Cemex’s focus is on gaining complete control of the building materials company. 
"We intend to get to 90 per cent and then compulsory acquire the rest of the shares and then delist the company," Mr Medina said. 
"It depends on the market but we will do our best to get there." 
Rinker chief executive David Clarke is staying on to run the company but Mr Medina refused to guarantee his long-term future. 
Since the takeover began in late October, the former Rinker board has fought a rearguard action against Cemex. 
In April, after Cemex increased its initial offer, former Rinker chairman John Morschel and the board threw in the towel and unanimously endorsed the bid of $18.81 a share. 
But only after Rinker had spent the previous five months trying to generate either a rival bid or engineer a reverse takeover of another building group which would protect it against Cemex’s predatory advances. 
After his first board meeting, Mr Medina would not be drawn on his immediate plans for Rinker, or whether the deadline for acceptances would be extended beyond Friday’s deadline. 
"We feel that Rinker shareholders have a very good offer on the table and it is the best offer they can find," Mr Medina said. Cemex can extended the offer, but it can’t increase its offer because of the truth in takeovers rule, which would force Cemex to wait at least six months to increase any offer. Cemex is one of the world’s biggest building and cement companies.