Seacem to sell Lafarge Republic shares, Philippines

Seacem to sell Lafarge Republic shares, Philippines

Southeast Asia Cement Holdings (Seacem) plans to reduce its stake in Lafarge Republic Inc, either through a property dividend, share swap or other available – to allow the latter to meet its public float requirements.

The two companies announced in separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Friday, that Seacem plans to sell some of its shares in the majority-owned Lafarge unit. Based on PSE’s latest data, Lafarge Republic Inc has a public ownership of only 3.7 per cent, way below the PSE’s minimum 10 per cent requirement for a company to remain listed on the bourse. Lafarge Republic is one of the 27 publicly-listed companies facing suspension on the first day of trading of 2013 for failing to meet the public float requirement.

Trading on both Seacem and Lafarge Republic was suspended on Friday by the PSE to allow the investing public to digest the disclosure on Seacem’s plant to unload some shares. Both companies voluntarily sought the trading suspension.

Seacem said that, in undertaking the sale of some of its shares in LRI, it would serve the “long-term benefit” of the company and its shareholders, apart from allowing Lafarge to comply with the minimum public ownership. This action will be followed by either a property dividend, share swap, or such other option that will be deemed most cost effective and feasible, within the grace period allowed by the Philippine Stock Exchange for LRI [Lafarge Republic Inc] to meet the minimum 10 per cent public float requirement,” Seacem said.  The specific action to be taken will be disclosed once plans have been firmed up by Seacem's board, the companies added.  

Earlier, Lafarge Republic announced plans to increase its production capacity by the first quarter of 2013, supplying an additional 1Mta of cement after a set of investment projects has been completed. The company has earmarked funds to revamp its Danao, Cebu grinding plant and ease bottlenecks at its Norzagaray, Bulacan mill.  (Source: The Philippine Inquirer)