BOGOTA Oct 19 Mexico's top cement maker Cemex
said on Friday it plans to list about 24 percent of its Cemex
Latam Holdings unit on the Colombian stock market in the latest
step to raise cash to help it ease bulky debts.
Cemex Latam Holdings, which includes Cemex's
cement and ready-mix assets in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica,
Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, will offer an
aggregate of 126.6 million of its common shares.
About 110.1 million shares will be put up for grabs in a
public offering to investors in Colombia and in a concurrent
private placement to eligible investors outside Colombia, Cemex
said in a release.
Another 16.5 million shares will be offered in a private
placement, subject to a 30-day put option granted to the initial
purchasers of the private placement.
"Cemex Latam expects to apply the net proceeds of the
offerings to the repayment of indebtedness owed to Cemex, who,
in turn, expects to apply the net proceeds of it to general
corporate purposes, including the repayment of indebtedness,"
the company said.
Prior to the offerings, all of Cemex Latam Holdings 407.9
million outstanding common shares were owned by the Cemex Espana
The company did not say how much it expected to receive from
the transaction but analysts have estimated the amount could
start at $750 million.
While Cemex said the timing of the deal would depend
on market conditions, a preliminary offering calendar obtained
by Reuters showed Cemex Latam Holdings could start trading in
Cemex shares slipped 0.17 percent to 11.80 pesos in early
dealings on Friday while its New York-traded stock fell 0.43
percent to $9.18.
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.
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 its finances, but
have since soared.
Creditors of the Monterrey-based company recently agreed to
refinance the company's debt.
Cemex also wrapped up a $7.2 billion refinancing package
that provided 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