Cemex agrees to Sell Semen Gresik shares - or does it?

Cemex agrees to Sell Semen Gresik shares  - or does it?
Published: 09 September 2004

Indonesian government plans to sell 25.5% shares of PT Semen Gresik Tbk after Cemex SA, the present holders of those shares, agreed to sell its ownership.  "Cemex has agreed with the plan to sell the shares," said Laksamana Sukardi, the Minister of State Owned Enterprises, in Jakarta yesterday.
He said that the government will facilitate the establishment of a group of investors to purchase the shares from the Mexican company. "We are now studying the mechanism, on whether it is the government who will purchase the shares, or other parties," he said.  The President Director of Cemex Indonesia, Francisco Noriega, as reported by Bloomberg, failed to comment on such proposals suggesting that no deal has been reached between both sides

Previously Minister Sukardi said that he is ready to meet with the executive of Cemex Asia dealing with the plan of the government to buyback the shares of the company on Semen Gresik. The minister also added that the government will then try to find out other investors to purchase the shares.  "I have not met Cemex, but we have the previous option when Pak Ruru (the secretary of the Ministry of State Owned Enterprise Bacelius Ruru) talks to Cemex," he said presently.

Minister Sukardi said that actually there are two options. The first one is that Cemex has to purchase the rest of the shares of the government and the second option is the other way around.  The minister said that in the future cement business must be good. "Cement industry is good so that it is the time for the industry to expand its business. You can see this from the increase of the shares of Semen Cibinong and Indocement," he said.

The Investment Director of Jamsostek, Samuel Tobing, said previously that the social security company supports the plan of the government to purchase the shares of Semen Gresik following the internal conflict of the company following the divestment of the shares of the government.  "We see that cement business has returned in line with the recovery of property sector so that in term of fundamental, there is no problem at all on Semen Gresik," he said. 

Speaking to the UK financial Times earlier this year, Lorenzo Zambrano, Cemex’s chief executive, described the company’s Indonesian experience as "very disappointing". Mr Zambrano said: "In hindsight, we would not have accepted a minority position at all and then we would have gone very aggressively to buy one of the other private sector companies which was sold to our competitors.  "We believed that they would obey the contract, that they would obey the law."