Regulators give go-ahead to Holcim-Cemex asset swap

By Chris Sleight30 October 2014

Holcim and Cemex have received approval from all regulators for their proposed asset swap in various European countries, which was proposed in August last year. The transactions in Germany and the Czech Republic stand as originally proposed, but the companies will not now form a joint venture in Spain.

Rather than combining their footprints in Spain, with Cemex taking a 75% share and Holcim 25%, Cemex will now purchase Holcim’s Gador cement plant and Yeles grinding station. These have a capacity of 1.75 million tonnes of cement per year. Holcim’s remaining operations in Spain will comprise facilities with 2.2 million tonnes of cement capacity, as well as its aggregates and ready-mixed concrete businesses.

In Western Germany, Holcim will go ahead with the acquisition of Cemex’s businesses, which focus on North Rhine-Westphalia. The transaction includes one cement plant, two grinding stations - total cement capacity of 2.5 million tonnes - one slag granulator, 22 aggregates locations and 79 ready-mixed concrete plants. They will be combined with Holcim’s existing Northern German operations.

Finally, Cemex will take over Holcim’s business in the Czech Republic, as previously announced.

Under the terms of the original proposal, Holcim was to pay Cemex € 70 million in cash along with the swap of assets. However, the changes now mean Cemex will pay Holcim € 45 million.

These transactions are expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. This represents a significant delay to the original timescale. When the deal was first announced it was expected to close by the end of 2013. Regulatory approval for the Spanish aspect of the deal appears to have been the main cause of delay.

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