Cemex has agreed to divest 24.9 per cent of its shares in PT Semen Gresik with a total value of US$337m to Rajawali Group. The subject of transaction was already approved by the government for it had complied with the requirements, a reliable source at Cemex said here on Thursday.
Cemex decided to divest its shares in PT Semen Gresik to end its protracted dispute with the Indonesian government on the deputy posted to the Indonesian cement company.
The purchase comes as Indonesia’s top officials voiced their preference over an Indonesian company taking the Cemex stake, expressing concerns over undue foreign influence in what they said was a strategic industry if another non-Indonesian company took it.
PT Semen Gresik controls 45 per cent of the market in Indonesia making it the biggest cement maker in the country.
However, the Rajawali Group reportedly wants to buy more shares in Gresik, a senior Rajawali official said on Friday.
"As an investor in the shares that have good prospects, of course, we are interested," Darjoto Setyawan, managing director of PT Rajawali Corp., told Reuters when asked if the group would like to buy more of Gresik stake either from the market or the government.
"The question is whether the government is willing to sell its stake (to us), which could lower their holding below 51 per cent."
Rajawali Group, the former controlling shareholder of Indonesia’s third-largest mobile phone company PT Excelcomindo Pratama Tbk, is a diversified company with businesses ranging from a television station to hotels and a department store.
"It is not inconceivable that the new investor has already received a blessing from the government as a majority shareholder, in which case there will have to be a tender offer," Rachman Koeswanto, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said in a report.
"We expect Rajawali Group would have greater influence than Cemex over the company despite its minority stake."