Holcim to acquire Cemex Australia for US$ 1.61 billion

By Chris Sleight16 June 2009

Holcim has announced it is to buy all of Cemex's businesses in Australia for AU$ 2.02 billion (US$ 1.61 billion). The deal will allow it to move into the country's concrete and aggregates sector as well as increase its interest in the Australian cement industry.

Cemex Australia is most active in the eastern and southeastern states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, although it is also present in Tasmania and the mining belt in the state of Western Australia. It has 83 aggregate quarries, 249 ready-mixed concrete plants and 16 pipe and concrete product plants.

According to Holcim, Cemex Australia had sales of AU$ 1.86 billion (US$ 1.48 billion) last year and achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITA) of AU$ 313 million (US$ 250 million). It employs 2800 staff.

The deal will also see Holcim take over Cemex's 25% stake in Cement Australia, a company it already has a 50% interest in. Cement Australia has four cement plants and one grinding plant giving it a total production capacity of 5.1 million tonnes of cement per year.

Cement Australia had sales of AU$ 995 million (US$ 794 million) and EBITDA of AU$ 196 million (US$ 156 million) last year. It has a workforce of 1300 people.

Holcim says it will fund the acquisition with a CHF 2 billion (US$ 1.84 billion) share issue, which will go before and extraordinary general meeting on 8 July. The deal is also subject to regulatory approval by Australia's competition authority and Cemex has set a six-month deadline for this and other closing conditions such as due diligence and the raising of funds for the transaction.

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