Cemex signals higher offer for Rinker is possible

Cemex signals higher offer for Rinker is possible
Published: 06 December 2006

Cemex could raise its $11.7bn hostile bid for Rinker Group after stopping short of saying that the bid was its final offer, analysts said Tuesday.

Cemex on Monday defended its $13 a share offer for Rinker, the biggest Australian building materials maker as "full and fair," rejecting Rinker’s claims that the bid was 36 per cent too low. Under Australian law, once a bid is declared final it cannot be raised.

"We anticipate Cemex management will sound out key shareholders as to what price is required to gain control," Rohan Gallagher, an analyst at Credit Suisse in Sydney, wrote in a note Tuesday. "Its refusal to declare the bid final "suggests Cemex is not prepared to walk away at these levels."

Hector Medina, executive vice president of planning and finance at Cemex, arrived in Sydney on Tuesday to meet with Rinker shareholders. Cemex wants to buy the Australian rival for Rinker’s business in the United States, which is focused on Florida, Arizona and Nevada, the states with the fastest population growth. The deal would make Cemex the world’s biggest cement maker.