Mexico’s Cemex Agrees to sell two cement plants in US

Mexico’s Cemex Agrees to sell two cement plants in US
Published: 12 November 2004

Brazil’s Grupo Votorantim has apparently reached an agreement in principle to buy two cement plants in the US from Mexico’s Cemex, according to local news sources. The move will mark Cemex’s first major divestment after its $4.15bn acquisition of Britain’s RMC Group PLC in late September and comes at a time when the global cement industry appears to be entering a new phase of consolidation. For Votorantim, Brazil’s largest diversified industrial conglomerate, it will mean the latest in a string of acquisitions by its cement unit, Votorantim Cimentos. Both Votorantim and Cemex declined to comment. Cemex is under pressure to reduce its debt. On Nov. 10, Standard & Poor’s left Cemex’s credit rating untouched but left open the possibility of a downgrade. S&P said it expected the Mexican company to use its free operating cash flow generation and proceeds from asset sales to reduce debt.