US: HeidelbergCement has announced that its subsidiary Lehigh Cement Company has signed an agreement to sell its 51% position in Lehigh White Cement Company to the minority shareholders Aalborg Cement Company and Cemex. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected during the first quarter 2018. Authorisation by the Antitrust Authority has already been obtained.
Lehigh White Cement Company operates two plants in Waco, Texas and York, Pennsylvania with a combined production capacity of approximately 0.26Mt/yr.
“As a niche product with small volumes, the standalone production of white cement does not fit to the strategic focus on efficiency of HeidelbergCement,” said Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement. “The disposal is part of our global portfolio review and optimisation with the goal to generate additional cash flow in order to support our disciplined growth and increase shareholder returns.”
Cemex, via its US subsidiary, will increase its stake from 24.5% to 36.75% when the deal is completed. It will pay US$34.0m. Cementir, via Aalborg Cement, will pay US$107.m for the purchase of a further 38.75% stake. This will take its total share to 63.25% once the deal goes through.
"This acquisition gives us the opportunity to enter the direct management of assets in the US in a segment, that of white cement, which is our core business, strengthening our global leadership consistent with our development strategy," commented Francesco Caltagirone Jr, President and chief executive officer of Cementir Holding.