UPDATE 2-Colombia approves Cemex unit IPO, set to list Nov. 16
* Cemex Latam Holdings set for Colombia market debut
* Listing could bring in $750 mln for Cemex
* Last of long list of measures to raise cash
By Nelson Bocanegra
BOGOTA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Colombia's financial regulator approved on Thursday the listing of a unit of Mexico's Cemex, set to start trading on Nov. 16 according to a preliminary offering calendar seen by Reuters, and part of efforts to raise cash by its debt-laden parent.
The listing of Cemex Latam Holdings, which could yield at least $750 million, is the last in a long list of steps recently taken by Monterrey-based Cemex to help it bounce back from a financing crunch.
The prospectus of the offering is to be published on the Colombian stock market's website on Oct. 29, said the preliminary calendar provided to Reuters by one of the deal's book runners. The pricing is expected on Nov. 7.
Cemex declined to comment.
The company has 15 working days to make the initial public offering, according to Colombia's regulator. Cemex must now take out an advertisement in local media announcing the date of the offering, according to Colombian law.
During a conference call with analysts earlier this week, Cemex said it was ready to proceed with the transaction and was waiting for Colombian authorities to sign off on the deal to move ahead with the listing.
Cemex was hurt by the 2008 U.S. housing meltdown shortly after paying out $16 billion to buy Australian peer Rinker. It has been digging itself out of deep debt obligations for the past three years.
Chief Executive Lorenzo Zambrano, who has headed the company since 1985, has been under pressure and has sought to reassure investors that the former emerging market darling can recover.
Cemex shares plunged to 13-year lows late last year on doubts over whether Zambrano could turn around the company's finances.
However, the shares have since soared and are trading around their highest level since early 2011 after creditors agreed to refinance the company's debt.
It recently wrapped up a $7.2 billion refinancing package that gave it much-needed room to push back looming debt payments for up to four years. The umbrella deal also included a debt swap, a $1 billion prepayment and revised financial covenants.
Two weeks ago, the company completed a $1.5 billion sale of 10-year notes amid heavy demand from investors, signaling the market is more at ease with its steps to regain financial health.
Cemex shares ended Thursday up 0.68 percent at 11.82 pesos on the Mexican stock exchange while its New York-traded stock finished 1.1 percent higher at $9.22.
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