State-owned Cement Industries of Malaysia, or CIMA, the country’s third largest cement producer, is reportedly considering the sale of 51 per cent of its cement assets to France’s Vicat group for at least US$160m, industry officials familiar with the proposal said.
Industry officials said that Vicat was not the only bidder. YTL Cement, which has a 24 per cent market share, also put in a bid, but the industry officials said that Vicat’s offer was ’far’ better.
The proposal calls for Vicat to buy 51 per cent of a private and wholly owned subsidiary of CIMA that holds the group’s cement assets - its plants and equipment, and so on. In the end, the officials said, CIMA would end up as a cash-rich holding company with 49 per cent of its cement holdings if the company accepts the French bid.
The offer has been on the table for three months now, which might explain why CIMA’s share prices have been climbing since mid-December. It has risen 51 per cent so far, closing at RM1.90 yesterday.