Mexico: Mexico's cement producer Elementia is in talks to buy out its joint venture partner Lafarge, according to local media. Elementia has the right to buy Lafarge's 47% stake under an option described in the original terms of the partnership. Lafarge is said to be keen to avoid competing with itself in Mexico after agreeing to the US$40bn merger with Holcim, which already operates in the country.
The stake has been valued as high as US$500m. However, it is unlikely to attain that high a price because Lafarge has limited bargaining power and Elementia already has majority and management control of the joint venture. Lafarge may be forced to offer its stake at a discount to convince Elementia to buy. Lafarge and Holcim's recent proposed asset divestment list did not include the Mexican joint venture, which has a cement production capacity of 2Mt/yr.
Elementia sells cement in Mexico under the brand Cementos Fortaleza. Buying out Lafarge would bolster Elementia's position in Mexico, where cement demand is predicted to grow on the back of economic overhauls that were approved in 2013.