Holcim and Cemex shuffle European businesses

By Chris Sleight28 August 2013

Holcim and Cemex have agreed a series of deals that will see both companies reorganise their European businesses. Holcim will take over Cemex assets in Western Germany in exchange for its operations in the Czech Republic and € 70 million in cash. The two companies will also combine their operations in Spain, with 25% owned by Holcim and 75% by Cemex.

In Western Germany Holcim will take over one cement plant and two grinding mills of 2.5 million tonnes total capacity, along with one slag granulator, 22 aggregates quarries and 79 ready-mixed concrete plants. Holcim said these facilities would add to its presence in Northern Germany and link-up with plants in France and Benelux. Cemex meanwhile said it remained committed to the German market, and would maintain its presence in Northern, eastern and Southern parts of the country.

Cemex will acquire all of Holcim’s businesses in the Czech Republic, including one cement plant, four quarries and 17 ready-mixed plants.

In Spain, Cemex and Holcim will combine all their cement, ready-mix and aggregates operations with Cemex taking a 75% controlling interest.

“This transaction will significantly strengthen our presence in Germany while at the same time giving us the necessary flexibility in Spain,” said Holcim CEO Bernard Fontana. “Overall, our footprint in Europe will be considerably strengthened.”

Cemex chairman & CEO, Lorenzo H. Zambrano said, “When finalised, this will be an important strategic step that should allow Cemex to improve its footprint in Europe, and it will consolidate our portfolio in the continent.”

Both companies said the series of deals should lead to savings. Cemex said it expected to see a US$ 20 million to US$ 30 million (€ 15 million to €23 million) improvement in pre-tax profits from 2014 onwards. Holcim said its synergies would be around € 20 million per year.

The deals are subject to regulatory approval and due diligence, and are expected to close before the end of the year.

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