Argos expects to recover US$700mn US investment in 5-6yrs

Argos expects to recover US$700mn US investment in 5-6yrs
Published: 02 August 2006

Colombia’s dominant cement company Argos expects to recover within five-six years its investments from the three companies it acquired in the US, even though it has already begun to collect profits, Argos’ finance VP Ricardo Sierra was reported as saying by daily La República.

Argos bought Southern Star Concrete and Concrete Express in October last year for a combined total of US$258mn, the largest investment ever made by a Colombian firm in the US. These two companies are based in Dallas, Texas and Savannah, Georgia, respectively.

In March this year Argos broke its own record by buying Ready Mix Concrete Company from the Audax Group for a total US$435mn. This firm operates from its headquarters in Raleigh, in North Carolina state.

These new purchases have already begun to contribute funds to Argos’ coffers and US sales are bringing in around US$50mn a month, according to Sierra. However, recovery of the total US$692mn invested is necessarily a long-term target.

Given the high revenues involved in the US cement and concrete industry, the immediate priority of Latin America’s fifth largest cement producer is to consolidate its trade mark in the strategic geographical cement zones of the US, Sierra said.

In order to reach its goals, Argos must also integrate all of its multinational operations, the executive added. It has plants dispersed around the Americas in the US, Panama, Venezuela, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

In addition, the company operates 12 maritime port terminals: three in the US, four in Colombia, two in Venezuela, and one each in Panama, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.