Camargo Corrêa does not expect to sell assets in Cimpor buyout

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Brazil: Brazil's second-largest construction group Camargo Corrêa does not expect to have to sell any assets if its buyout of Portuguese market-leader Cimpor goes ahead as it hopes. It expects Cimpor to gain scope and global reach as its unit.

Jose Barros Franco, chief executive of Intercement, a subsidiary of Brazil's second-largest construction group Camargo Corrêa, has stated that the bid price of Euro5.5 per Cimpor share was 'fair' but he would not say if the company would consider sweetening the offer. Portuguese conglomerate Semapa has made a proposal to major shareholders in Cimpor to try to keep it in Portuguese hands by forming a joint holding company. It does not represent a counter-bid.

"We pay close attention to all manifestations of interest, but we believe that our offer is a good opportunity for all shareholders and will subsequently transform Cimpor into a bigger company than it is today, implying a significant entry of foreign investment to Portugal," Barros Franco added. He denied market talk that Camargo had a pre-agreement with another Brazilian shareholder in Cimpor, the country's largest cement producer Votorantim, to split up Cimpor assets, but did not rule out a deal in the future to jointly manage the company.

Analysts expect Intercement to take over the bulk of Cimpor's capital, but say Votorantim is likely to keep its 21.2% stake, which would allow it to carve out part of Cimpor's international business later, avoiding problems with Brazil's competition regulator.

"There is no pre-agreement. We believe that our bid is a good opportunity for all shareholders. Still, we can't rule out the possibility of a future agreement to allow for a better management of the company and addressing competition issues in Brazil," Barros Franco wrote. Camargo holds a 32.9% stake in Cimpor.

"For now we do not expect any asset sales. We are at the disposal of the antitrust authorities to provide all the necessary explanations," he said.

Analysts have previously said that Cimpor may have to sell at least one mill to address Brazilian antitrust regulator's concerns. Votorantim would have to sell various plants. If Camargo Corrêa took over 100% of Cimpor, it would double its market share in Brazil to near 20%, reducing Votorantim's dominant lead.

Last modified on 11 April 2012


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