The Argentine government has approved Brazilian engineering company Camargo-Correa’s (CCG) acquisition of local cement producer Loma Negra’s holding company, the Economy Ministry said in a statement released Tuesday. The approval came from the secretary of technical coordination, the agency that oversees the country’s antitrust regulatory body. The two companies signed a letter of intent in late April, agreeing to have Camargo-Correa buy Holdtotal, the holding company, for $1.025bn.
Loma Negra is Argentina’s largest cement maker and formerly belonged to Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, the country’s richest woman. Holdtotal’s other assets include agriculture-related operations and a cargo transport line. Loma Negra has nine plants and 1850 employees. Its production capacity is 7Mta but is operating at below half of its installed capacity.
In July, the Argentine government fined Loma Negra $46.9m for alleged price collusion in the cement industry. Four other companies were also fined as a result of the government’s investigation. Loma Negra has appealed the penalty.