Brazil: Votorantim Industrial, Brazil's largest diversified industrial conglomerate, intends to use proceeds from the sale of its stake in steelmaker Usiminas to expand its cement and mining output.
Chief executive, Raul Calfat, announced that the US$1.34bn raised by Techint's purchase of Votorantim's 13.5% voting stake in Usiminas had boosted the group's cash holdings to US$6.5bn. This high level of cash will allow the investment holding company to avoid borrowing at a time when financial markets remain shut for all but the most credit-worthy companies, said Calfat. It also gives the company room for funding heavy investment plans with its own cash.
Calfat said that the group's cement unit, Brazil's largest producer of the building material, would get one-third of the Usiminas stake sale proceeds. He said that the money would go towards the construction of four factories by 2013.