Union urges govt to keep 51 per cent stake in Gresik

Union urges govt to keep 51 per cent stake in Gresik
Published: 06 December 2004

The trade union of cement maker Semen Gresik has urged the government to retain its 51 per cent stake in the company and not to sell it to Cemex Asia Holdings, a Mexican firm.    "We are afraid that if Cemex controls Semen Gresik, an international cartel will eventually take over the industry and dictate the (cement) price," Zubeir Halim, chairman of the Semen Gresik Trade Union said at the weekend.  

Speaking to the press after a dialogue with presidential spokesman Andi Malarangeng, Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi and Justice and Human Rights Minister Hamid Awaludin here Friday, he said the company was ready to build a new cement factory without Cemex’s participation.    Zubeir, who is also head of Semen Gresik’s Assets Management Unit, said, "Many investors want to cooperate with us to build a new factory, including Australian company Boral."   He said Semen Gresik Trade Union would continue its efforts to prevent the largest cement industry in Indonesia from being taken over by foreign interests.  

Cemex has accused the Indonesian government of having reneged on its obligation to execute its put option to sell its 51 per cent stake in Semen Gresik to Cemex.   Cemex had recently offered three alternative solutions.    First, the government buys back 25 per cent of Semen Gresik shares from Cemex; second, Cemex buys the government’s 51 per cent stake in Semen Gresik, and third, Cemex makes new investments in Semen Gresik thus reducing the government’s shares in the company.