Cement giants look to expand int’l presence

Cement giants look to expand int’l presence
18 May 2006

Brazil’s largest industrial conglomerates Camargo Corrêa and Votorantim are both in the running for the purchase of Spanish cement company Uniland, local daily Estado de S.Paulo reported.  Spanish families Fradera and Rumeu put their 73.7 per cent ownership of the company, valued at US$1.9bn, up for sale earlier this year. In March, 20 groups submitted proposals for the purchase and only six companies remain in the race. Besides the Brazilian groups, Spanish companies Portland Valderrivas and Cementos Molins, Greece’s Titan, and American Prides Capital remain.  Irish construction materials company CRH controls the other 26.3% of Uniland. 
Camargo Corrêa and Votorantim have both prioritized international expansion over the past several years.  In 2004 Camargo Corrêa purchased Argentine company Loma Negra for close to US$1bn. The acquisition doubled the Camargo’s production and made it the third largest cement producer in Latin America, behind Votorantim and Cemex.
Votorantim has invested some US$900m in international expansion since 2001. The group has acquired Canadian company St Marys and two US-based cement producers. Today it is one of the ten largest cement companies in the world.  The winner of the sale is expected to be announced in coming days, the paper reported. 
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