Cemex SA de CV, owner of a 25% stake in Semen Gresik, denied it had given
any approval to Indonesian government’s buy back proposal. "This is
totally untrue," a spokesman wa quoted as saying. "We have not received
any proposal from the Indonesian government and of course we have not agreed
The statement was a response to a statement addressed recently by BUMN
Minister Laksamana Sukardi, who said that the government had obtained
Cemex’s agreement to an offer for the government to buy back the Mexican
company’s stake in SGG.
Lorenzo Zambrano, Cemex’s chief executive,described the company’s
Indonesian experience as "very disappointing". He said that in hindsight,
Cemex would not have accepted a minority position at all. Moreover, he
said that the company had actually gone very aggressively to buy
one of the other private sector companies which was sold to our
competitors. "We believed that they (the government of Indonesia)
would obey the contract, that they would obey the law."
Laksamana, in an interview conducted on Wednesday, 8 September 2004, said
that there had not been any decisions on the buy back plan, both from the
government and from Cemex. "There have not been any decisions about
pricing, and even if Cemex would be the one buying our shares or if we
would buy its stakes," said he. "Cemex is the one who decides and defines
the appropriate market price and ratio," said he.
According to Laksamana, Cemex had delayed the mandate hand over to
Indonesia. Therefore, he expected that Cemex could immediately make a
decision. "We have not given any deadlines to Cemex, however, the process
would become more complicated if they keep delaying and protracting the
decision making," said he. "I believe Cemex could realize that," he added.
When asked about the possibilities of Cemex selling its stake, Laksamana
said "The main problem if Cemex pulls out is who would buy its shares. If
no one wants to buy the stake then the government would have to take over
the stake, while it is very unlikely for us (the government) to use the
state budget to execute the buy back," he concluded.