UPDATE 1-Cemex raises up to $1.1 billion in unit's Colombian IPO
* Prices at mid-range of guidance for shares in Latam unit
* Sells bigger-than-expected stake of up to 29 pct of unit
MEXICO CITY Nov 6 (Reuters) - Mexico's Cemex, one of the world's top cement makers, on Tuesday said it had raised about $1.1 billion by selling a bigger-than-expected stake of its Latam unit in a Colombian initial public offering.
Monterrey-based Cemex said in a statement that it had priced nearly 170.4 million shares, or what would amount to a more than 29 percent stake in Cemex Latam Holdings, at 12,250 Colombian pesos ($6.74), in the middle of its guided range.
The company had previously said it expected to sell a 24 percent stake as it seeks to raise cash to pay down huge debts. Cemex Espana would own the remaining stake, the company said.
Cemex was hurt by the 2008 U.S. housing meltdown shortly after paying $16 billion to buy Australian peer Rinker. It has been digging itself out of deep debt for the past three years.
Cemex Latam Holdings includes Cemex's cement and ready-mix assets in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
About 148.2 million shares were put up for grabs to investors in Colombia and in a concurrent private placement to eligible investors outside Colombia, Cemex said.
Another 22.2 million shares were offered in a private placement, subject to a 30-day put option granted to the initial purchasers of the private placement.