Holcim has held a 20.3 per cent participation in Cemento de El Salvador, S.A. de C.V. (CESSA) El Salvador since 1998.
CESSA is a leading cement manufacturer in Central America. In El Salvador, Holcim has presented a buyout offer to all shareholders. At the same time, Holcim has announced that it has received a firm commitment from several shareholder groups that it can acquire share packages totaling about 30 per cent, thus securing a majority interest. This acquisition represents an investment of approximately US$150m. The remaining shareholders will now have the possibility to sell their shares under the same conditions, US$7.35 per share, during the next three months.
CESSA owns two cement plants in the North East of El Salvador and seven distribution centers that serve all of the country’s markets. Both plants have an installed annual cement production capacity of 1.8Mt. In 2003, the company showed sales of US$126.2m and, thanks to efficient production equipment, an operating profit of US$39.0m.
Cement consumption in El Salvador has doubled during the past 15 years and will amount to 1.4Mt in 2004. Forecasts predict a continuous growth in cement consumption during the next years.
In increasing its participation in CESSA, Holcim is taking a further logical step toward strategically strengthening and enhancing the operating efficiency of its network of positions in Central America.
The Group now owns three cement plants, two grinding stations, a terminal and has significant ready-mix concrete and aggregate operations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador. Furthermore, Holcim holds substantial minority interests in cement producers in Honduras and Guatemala.