Holcim cement to expand in Australia, China

17th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss cement-makers announce their takeover of Australian Cemex and greater investment in Chinese Huaxin.

Zurich -- Holcim, one of the world's biggest cement-makers, on Monday said it had agreed to take over Australian group Cemex and increase its investment in China's fourth-biggest cement firm Huaxin.

Holcim will take over full ownership of Cemex for CHF 1.77 billion (EUR 1.17 billion, USD 1.64 billion), the Swiss group said in a statement.

The deal will also allow Holcim to secure a further 25-percent stake in Cement Australia to add to its existing 50 percent holding.

The move should enable the Swiss cement and construction materials giant to gain a secure position in Australia's densely populated eastern and southeastern states and in the mining belt of Western Australia, it added.

In China, Holcim also intends to take part in Huaxin Cement's CNY 4 billion (EUR 420 million, USD 586 million) capital hike with an investment of about CNY 1.6 billion.

The Swiss company currently owns 39.9 percent of the Chinese company.

"By participating in the placement, Holcim confirms its commitment to further deepen the strategic partnership with Huaxin Cement," the company said.

Analyst Patrick Laager of Bank Vontobel said the Australian deal would reinforce Holcim's position in the Pacific market, while Huaxin would be able to more than double its production capacity in China.

"Both transactions are important strategic steps," said Laager.

The deal for Huaxin is subject to approval by Chinese authorities.

AFP / Expatica

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