Cemex wants to sell its 25.5 per cent stake held by its Cemex Asia Holding Ltd unit Indonesian state cement firm PT Semen Gresik, Antara News Agency said. Cemex Asia Ltd sent a letter to the office of the state minister for state enterprises last week about its plan to sell the stake, the report said quoting Roes Aryawijaya, a deputy of the state minister. A shareholder is required by the contract to inform other shareholders about any plan to sell a stake, Roes said, pointing out the government is a 51 per cent shareholder of Semen Gresik.
M. Ikhsan, an expert staff of the chief economics minister, said he believed the government would not consider buying back the stake it sold to the Mexican company at US$290m in 1998. The government has a heavy financial burden to be sorted out pointing to financial problems faced by the nation’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and Merpati Airlines, Ikhsan told the newspaper Bisnis Indonesia.
A government source also said Cemex has agreed to drop its lawsuit over failure of the government to honor a put option contract requiring the government to sell more stakes at Cemex’s call. Instead Cemex wants to sell its stake to finance a plan to build a new cement plant in the country, the source said, following recent government approval for Cemex’s plan to build a new cement plant at a cost of around US$400m.