Indonesia’s largest cement firm PT Semen Gresik reportedly said French cement group Lafarge SA has expressed interest in acquiring a stake in the company, replacing Mexican cement firm Cemex SA, the daily Koran Tempo reported. Tempo quoted Semen Gresik corporate secretary Subagio as saying that Lafarge has made an offer with the government to become a shareholder of Semen Gresik. He said Lafarge has yet to follow up its offer with a solid proposal. The French company was among several investors that have voiced interest in Semen Gresik, he added.
However, contradicting such claims, another senior Gresik official said he was not sure whether French cement group Lafarge SA had in fact offered to buy a stake in the company to replace Mexican cement firm Cemex SA. He declined to name the prospective investors, but said one of them was from Australia. Cemex has said it may move out of Indonesia after its failure to acquire another 51 per cent stake in Semen Gresik which the government promised to sell. Strong anti-privatization sentiment particularly from workers of Semen Gresik’s unit PT Semen Padang has prevented the government from selling its majority stake to Cemex.